The Means of Grace

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Frogman, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    "It is more our diligence and faithful use of means, by which we grow in grace, than by the enjoyment of the best, if we be slothful under it: and sometimes God seeth that fullness breedeth wantonness and loathing, and like foolish children we play with our meat, or quarrel about it; and then it is time to take it away, and let fasting help us to better appetite."

    Richard Baxter (1615-1691) Non-Conformist Pastor at Kidderminster in England.

    In light of this understanding much of scripture can be understood I believe.

    Baxter beleived and lived:

    "Lord, it belongs not to my care
    whether I die or live;
    to love and serve thee is my share,
    and this thy grace must give."


    A statement I know my own life would do good were I to incorporate it. I have been made a member of the Family of God; thus, I seek the fullness of God, but despise the affliction which increases the working of Grace in my life, why does this increase Grace? Is it because of my choosing to grow in this Grace, or is it because the affliction(s) I may be undergoing in this world work in me to lean more and more upon Christ who said in answer to Paul, 'my grace is sufficient.' This is Truth from the voice of our Saviour, so Grace is sufficient in our lives of service, even in our birth, Grace is sufficient and this makes Christ the means of the Grace of God.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  2. Yelsew

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    In Calvinism, is Grace for the elect only like Salvation?
     
  3. Frogman

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    Yelsew,

    I am not a student of Calvinism per say. I know the rudiments of it and believe they agree with Scripture. I believe Salvation is by Grace alone. To say this means I believe Faith comes through Grace as well.

    I do have a copy of Calvins "Institutes" (though edited) I picked up at a yard sale or the good will store, but haven't taken the time to read much into it.

    My belief is that Calvin did not propagate any doctrine contrary to Scripture. Statements I have read from others, such as C.H. Spurgeon, give him a reputation such that he refused to interpret scripture according to his assumptions, in other words, if it appeared to read that salvation could be lost, this is the plain sense he gave to it. I have not read enough of his works to say whether this is true or not.

    Grace has always been in the world, but has never been obtainable to man apart from Christ. This is what I believe.

    More specifically to answer your question, I believe there is a common Grace, whereby all men live and breath (Acts 17), this also is from Calvin, and I believe there is a saving Grace imparted to the elect. I beleive this can also be taught from Acts 17.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas

    BTW, I never thought you would seriously throw me out your window. ;)
     
  4. Yelsew

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    Where is it stipulated in scripture that man must obtain grace?
    Where in scripture is Grace described as a commodity that may be obtained through some human effort?
    Where is it stipulated in scripture that more than one Grace exists?

    My point is this: Grace is an attribute of God. An attribute being something that is true of God. The Apostle John tells us that God is Love. While Love is an attribute of God, and thus something that is true of God, Love is not all that God is. God is not Love or Love is God. God is Gracious, but Grace is not God. God is merciful, but Mercy is not God. etc. Grace is something that is true of God. It is not something that God gives away like Santa Clause giving away candy at Christmas. Grace is a divine constraint by which God allows Himself to behave toward his creation. With God behaving in accordance with his Grace, we sinful humans have the environment whereby we can hear the gospel message and believe in God's Only Son, who was given to us while God's grace prevails.

    If God withdrew his Grace tonight, and withheld his love too, the only attributes that would prevail are Mercy and Justice. with only mercy to counter Justice, we would not be in very good position to escape God's wrath, and not one unsaved person would be able to come to faith, because Grace is not present to enable faith.

    Now, God made us in his image. Jesus says that the Father is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Well if God is Spirit, and Spirit has attributes (that which is true of the one) then since we are made in God's image, we too must be spirit, and we too must have attributes, that which is true of us.

    Frogman, I can tell you that I love you. But I cannot give you my love. I can tell you, and I can give you gifts that are an indication of my feelings, and I can act in a loving manner toward you, but I cannot give you my love. You can respond to my "love" behavior, and receive my gifts given in love, but you cannot receive my love because I cannot give it to you. If you find favor in my affection toward you, and you desire to love me in return, you can tell me, and give me gifts as a gesture of how you feel and you can otherwise behave toward me in a loving manner. You cannot however give me your love. God's attributes toward mankind operate in the same manner.

    Faith. God is faithful, but there is nothing in which God should have faith, because He is omniscient...knows all! Faith is only required when knowledge or experience is not present.

    I have to include here, that God is a God of blessings. Blessings are obtainable through human effort, because we are supposed to "work out our salvation, we are supposed to perform good works, and we are supposed to produce the fruits of the spirit. All of those bring us blessings from God. Blessings in the form of peaceful living, Calm assurances, fulfilled promises, and supplied needs, joyous events, and many other blessings.

    Ya, you're right, I wouldn't throw you from the balcony, but I definitely would feed you.
     
  5. Frogman

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    It is impossible to work out something we do not have, once we have it, then we manifest it through our 'fruits of the Spirit' this is the working out that is spoken of here.

    Perhaps Mercy is a more correct word to use, i don't know, but, it is this Mercy whereby God provides the sun, rain, etc. and common blessings on even evil men daily, though these do not work in him to turn him in repentance toward God, it is rather effectual Grace, or calling through the Spirit which accomplishes this in man.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  6. Yelsew

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    Do you say that one is not saved upon profession of faith in Jesus? Isn't having the promise of God equal to actually having that which is promised?

    Mercy provides the sun, rain, and common blessings? Not likely, because God did truly establish the seasons and the weathers and climate of the world in which man lives so that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. He may continue to direct its affairs daily, but there is probably no reason to do so.

    Grace like mercy is for the just and the unjust alike. There are no boundaries in God's grace.

    Love, like mercy is for the just and the unjust alike. There are no boundaries in God's love.

    The Point is, the creation called man cannot limit God or any of God's attributes. God behaves in accordance with his attributes toward his creation called man.

    God's promises are the same as having what is promised.

    Man is the variable in the equation. Man having a free will and a propensity to sin seems willing to be duped at every turn. Man, with the variables that God built into him is unpredictable because he operates as a free agency in God's creation. Man can hear in both senses of the word, audible and effectual, man can also refuse to hear in either of the senses.
     
  7. Frogman

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    </font>
    • I am saying that the individual does not know their position, until it is revealed by the Spirit, then they are equally able to make profession.</font>
    • There are no boundaries in the Love, mercy and grace of God; this is why man's sin-bound will cannot be involved until changed by the Will of God.</font>
    • God's promises are not the same as having these promises. Having means to have in possession. The promises are sure, because they are from God, however, these promises are unreal to the unregenerate.</font>
    • Man is the variable, but with God there are no 'unknowns.'</font>
    • Man's will is not free, this is why he is duped.</font>
    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. romanbear

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    Hi froggman; [​IMG]
    Why do you believe that only the elect are going to be saved?
    Romanbear [​IMG]
     
  9. Frogman

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    Because there are no 'pregnant chads' in the elect of God.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. Yelsew

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    If I were God, and I truly loved the whole world:

    I would not give my son do die for only those whom I choose. For his death to effectual, it must be for all mankind, so that any who believeth on him would not perish. In truth I would not have an "elect".

    For my glory to be complete, those who believe in me and my son would come of their own free will which I put in them at the creation. For what Glory doth it bring me to cause them to come to me not of their own free will?
     
  11. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Yelsew interesting answer... Then again what are you going to do with these scriptures... Where both Jews and Gentiles are included in unbelief?

    Romans 11:[30] For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

    [31] Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

    [32] For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    Where is your free will now Yelsew since by God's definition you are among those of unbelief... I'm so thankful for Amazing Grace that was joined with God's Love at the Mercy Seat of Jesus Christ... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  12. Yelsew

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    The problem that I see here Brother Glen is that you do not include the whole context . When you do, the meaning of 30-32 is different than what you say.
    (emphasis mine) The Israelites are God's choice, His elect, and though they are currently hardened, they too are saved by the same means that the Gentiles who are not God's elect are saved, the redeemer from Zion, Jesus.

    One must always consider the context!
     
  13. Frogman

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    The biggest two letter word in the English Lexicon.

    If man had a free-will, then he would come to God in this manner, but man's will is in bondage to sin.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. Yelsew

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    It's not a matter of "if" man has free will, but rather a matter of how man uses his God given free will.
     
  15. Frogman

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    The good news is that God did give man a will, which originally was free. When Adam fell, this was accomplished through his will, which was free, since this time, there has been no man, except Jesus, who has enjoyed such a free-will.

    I know you cannot believe this Yelsew, but it is true. Our will is in bondage to the sin nature.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  16. Mrs.Frogman

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    It is only the elect for which Christ died.
     
  17. Yelsew

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    You're right I do not and simply stated cannot believe that lie!
     
  18. Yelsew

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    It is only the elect for which Christ died. </font>[/QUOTE]That simply hold not water Mrs Frogman, Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost, the spirit of man....ALL mankind. I believe Jesus knew exactly where to find us, because he became one of us for a while, so that he could teach a few all about himself, so that they would teach others who would teach others who would teach others, all the while with the goal established of redeeming sinful man from the clutches of sin. Jesus came to mankind as one of the elect, a jew born of a jew virgin, and the Spirit of God. This boy child would not be ordinary, though he would in every way be tempted as all mankind is tempted, yet he would remain sinless, and be slaughtered on a Roman cross, and his blood spilt as an atonement for the sins of the world, the whole world. He would then rise victorious over death, so that whosoever believeth in him will have eternal life.

    The elect, the Jews, as Paul so clearly points out, have rejected the builders block which became the cornerstone of the Christian church. So, God opened the wedding feast up to any and all who would come. Those who cleaned up (had bathed and put on clean garments) were welcomed to the feast, but those who "came as they were" so to speak were cast out!

    Those who cleaned themselves were not the elect, because the elect, the first invited guests who declined the invitation for myriad reasons, were not convinced. Those who did clean themselves up and came to the feast are the whosoever wills, the non elect.

    "Cleaning themselves up" does not imply that they alone had the power to do so, but they were willing to be cleaned up, and therein is the difference, they by their free will choice to believe in Jesus, were then cleaned up by the atoning blood of the perfect Lamb of God. Their "Garments" were made spotless, and they were wholy acceptable to God.
     
  19. tyndale1946

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    You know since all mankind is lost and needs to be saved... Then by your application of Salvation did not Jesus Christ save us all?... The whole Adamic race of mankind?... If he didn't then what you are really saying is he didn't accomplish that work that the Father sent him to do... But only made it possible for us to accept or reject HIS FINISHED WORK!... If we can accept or reject it are you not really saying the work he did was not finished? Grace is not only the way... Grace is the means... If it is a work on our part... Then it is not grace!... Anyone who is ever saved is because Grace accepted them... Your dead man walking doctrine gets you in dutch again... Because a dead man cannot accept anything... It is all of Grace... Unmerited favor bestowed upon an unworthy subject... The Deadman... YOU!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  20. Yelsew

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    Wrong, what I am saying is that God's work is finished, it is now up to man to believe or not believe. Belief, being Faith, cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

    The Creation was completed, yet continues to exist.
    The Atonement for sin was completed once for all on the cross, yet Atonement continues to exist.
    Atonement, while established for all mankind, requires belief on the part of man in the one who Atoned by sacrificing his life for all. The power of the Atonement is not available to the unbeliever, because, as Jesus said to Nicodemus
    So, although all mankind is Atoned, Only the believer in Jesus is covered by the power of atonement.

    Just as when God rested, having completed the creation yet the creation continues to exist, God finished his work in the redemption of man by providing the atonement for man's sins. God rests, while atonement continues to exist.

    The finished work of God is the atonement of mankind's sins. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross resulting in His blood being poured out completed the work of God. The atonement is finished, and now is it up to man to believe of not believe.

    Grace is not an entity unto itself, it has no power to accept or reject, nor does it have the power to save. Grace being an attribute of God is what God behaves in accordance with in His dealings with man.

    Faith is not an entity unto itself either. Like grace, faith has no power to save, but it is what separates the sheep from the goats. It is the distinguishing characteristic eminating from within the one possessing it that separates the one from all others. If all have faith in the same thing, theirs is a common faith. For Christianity, all who have faith in Jesus the Christ have a common faith, but their faith is not common to all who have faith, it is dependent on the object of faith.

    Your misconception of God's created man, while not keeping you from eternal life, certainly distorts your view of God. Just as God rested from Creation, God rests from Atonement. Just as Adam, was caused to work for survival, our spiritual survival is based on our willingness to believe. God has already completed His work, it is now up to us to believe, and have eternal life.
     

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