The MEANS of SALVATION...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Jesus calls his words "spirit and life" yet Calvinists maintain that men cannot accept them unless they have first been made alive (regenerated).

    Scripture also teaches that "the truth will set you free," but Calvinists maintain that men cannot accept the truth unless they first have been made free (regenerated).

    Scripture teaches that the gospel is a message of reconciliation for the world, but Calvinists teach that men cannot accept this message because they are enemies of God and thus must first be reconciled (regenerated).

    Paul teaches that the gospel is the "power of God unto salvation" yet Calvinists insist that the power is in the secret "effectual call" (regeneration).

    It seems to me that Calvinists have negated the power and the purpose of the means God has clearly chosen to bring life, freedom and reconciliation. How? By insisting that the WORD is not powerful in and of itself, but that it needs another means to accompany it...the inward "effectual calling."

    We can find hundreds of passages that talk about the means of the gospel being preached, but since that really has no power (according to Calvinism) surely the bible must talk a lot about this so-called effectual calling. Certainly the ONLY powerful means that God uses to bring men to salvation is clearly depicted and expounded upon throughout scripture. Where? Hmmmm ??? Still looking....
     
    #1 Skandelon, Dec 29, 2009
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  2. zrs6v4

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    1 Peter 1:23
    "For you have not been born again of seed which is perishable but imperishable that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
    'ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS
    THE GRASS WHITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, BUT THE
    WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.'
    And this is the word that was preached to you."

    In my view, the Bible teaches us that the Spirit's work is to regenerate, convict, gift, etc... The Spirit works through the word of God as a means to bless. The word is spirit and truth, but it is the Spirit who gives life. Words may make us cry or feel something in powerful ways, but they do not perform miracles. Without the work of the spirit, the word of God is insufficient to give life to a dead soul. I am not degrading the word of God (They are the words of the living God) as if it isn't set apart as God-Breathed truth, but I am saying that when cults get a hold of a bible and wrongly interpret things it is because they are spiritually discerned and are not capable in the flesh to understand God's words without the Holy Spirit, or better said- You need God.
     
    #2 zrs6v4, Dec 29, 2009
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  3. Aaron

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    The means of salvation is a second birth. You just as much control over that one as you did the first.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    What is the living and enduring word of God? Is it the inward secret effectual calling? Or is it the word that was preached to you... I think this passages answers that question for us. Thank you for providing it.

    Says who? Wasn't the earth created with words? Remember these aren't just any words...these are HIS words. Holy Spirit wrought words. Why assume they alone are powerless to save?

    Don't you see that the word of God IS a work of the spirit? Who gave us the Gospel? The HOLY SPIRIT! IT IS HIS WORK. We just get to be a part of it by preaching it.

    Then can you explain the thousands upon thousands of unbelievers in our world who understand the gospel truth but have chosen not to follow Christ? Like the Rich Young Ruler, they understand the call of Christ and the costs involved, but turn and walk away because the cost is too high.

    Can you explain those who have clearly seen and understood the eternal power and divine nature of our God but have refused to acknowledge him as their God and thus stand without excuse?

    Apparently, they understand enough to not have any excuses and it seems to me that Calvinism give them the perfect excuse. "I couldn't understand, because the Holy Spirit didn't explain it to me."
     
  5. kyredneck

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    .....just about as much control as you have over the wind; it blows where it wills...
     
  6. zrs6v4

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    No, the word is God's written word that He gave us through men. The call of God is the powerful call that God uses to raise people from the dead, the powerful call that created the universe, and the same call that raises us spiritually from the dead. Effectual call is God's powerful call that causes things to happen to His intended effect without fail. Whenever Lazarus was in the grave He really didn't have a choice to rise or not.
    no problem sir :smilewinkgrin:


    Just because the Holy Spirit inspired these words when they were given doesn't mean He chooses to move through them every time they are mentioned. Yes the earth was created by God's effectual call to the earth to exist. The reason the Bible's words are powerful are b/c they are God's words and because God moves through them. This verse implies that we are given life through the word, not by the word. Now, if you think a dead person is made alive through the word without God's Spirit go ahead and try to preach to the clouds by reading Genesis 1 and see if another world is made :). I probably sound like an idiot, but maybe that clears my point a little.


    The word of God is definitely inspired by the Spirit when it was given so it would be perfect. So yes, it is a work of the Spirit. God does send His word ultimately by sending preachers, and you are right that we are instruments of God's work. I think I agree here. I would say that in regards to your John 6 quote, Jesus said God's words are spirit (lowercase) which I think means that they are spiritually discerned. This is why we need the Holy Spirit to discern them.

    Sure, Ill try..

    They are dead in sin and even though they might have a knowledge of what God's Word says and means they are to much in love with wickedness and passions of the flesh to ever make the heart change God calls us to for forgiveness. There is a difference between having knowledge and having a heart changing understanding and application to self by the fire wrought by the Spirit. I think of it more like an encounter with God than just some words that I buy. I can testify to this as it is a big part of my testimony. I knew the Gospel but it was dead to me even though I though I was alive, then 11 years later it came alive and I was new. I dont remember doing anything different although there was some weird sense of wonder that drew me in to God's word before I had a massive change. In my case there was no witnesses or people involved that I spoke to, and when I did I got horrible advice that only hurt me. Oddly enough this never even came close to making me comfortable or fall away because there was a strange determination and an inward strength that prevented me from doing anything but praying and searching Scripture with a totally new hate for sin, love for God, and a hundred other new feelings and changes I never had before.
     
    #6 zrs6v4, Dec 29, 2009
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  7. pinoybaptist

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    The Great One in Three needs no means for the eternal salvation of His elect.
    Not the preacher, not the gospel, not the Bible.
    The eternal redemption of all His people is at present time a finished fact, and I dare anyone to say the Lord has not actually done any redemption and should get back to work.
    However, the gospel salvation of many of His elect is an ongoing task, and this is the work that those in the ministry are called to do, albeit not everyone of God's people will benefit here in this time world.
     
  8. annsni

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    Ephesians 2

    1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


    When did Lazarus respond to Jesus. After he had been made alive or before?
     
  9. Skandelon

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    I think you make the mistake of equating physical death with the analogy of spiritual death Paul employs. After all, Paul also teaches that believers are dead to sin, but does that mean we cannot sin? Of course not, being dead to something means that we are separated from it. We are in need of being reconciled to God because of our sin, thus we are dead to him, but that has nothing to do with the ability to respond to his message of reconciliation.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    So the Holy Spirit has to discern the very words he produced? Why do you believe that?

    Why can't people understand the clearly spoken truth of God?

    If they can clearly see and understand "the eternal power and divine nature" of God simply through the revelation of God through his creation as Romans 1 teaches, then why couldn't they clearly understand the simple words, "Jesus died on the cross for you???"

    Think about this question objectively. Step away from your Calvinistic assumptions and pat responses so that you can really see the absurdity of this claim. I mean think about it. You believe that it is possible for a person to believe the far fetched lies of Buddhism, but they can't believe that Jesus is Lord. Don't even the demon's believe this and shutter?

    Believing something to be true is one thing, but CHOOSING to follow Christ is another. If the demons can believe it, as James indicates, then why can't a natural man?
     
  11. Harold Garvey

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    Submission is required in any call of God. The effectual call was submitted to as to go preach the Gospel where God said. The Gospel call to salvation hinges on belief but solely depends upon submission. In the case of Lazarus the call to come forth had to be received and he to respond in submission. To mirror the Gospel call is this instance given, not to build doctrine from. This raising of Lazarus was given for the sign that Jesus is God, not so a doctrine of any other kind can be determined by it.
     
  12. annsni

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    Even the natural man can believe in Christ - many do. But are they saved? Nope. They are not. Why not?
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Because its not "easy-believism" that saves. It is faith expressing itself through love. It's not just affirming the facts of who Christ is, but considering the costs and choosing to drop your nets and follow him...a volitional choice! Any one can believe it, and anyone who can believe it can choose to obey or not. Thus all men are indeed accountable for their response.
     
  14. Winman

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    Skandelon

    You are 100% correct that Calvinism negates the living and powerful word of God. It makes the word's of Christ secondary. It makes the death and resurrection of Christ secondary. Calvinists don't believe there is any power in the gospel, they are made alive when God regenerates them. They don't have to repent, they don't have to hear or believe, nothing.

    No, God does everything for them. They say so many times. They are so uninvolved in their salvation I am surprised they can believe themselves saved at all.

    But you are wasting your time. You could show them a thousand verses contradicting their doctrine. It is easy, most of the Bible contradicts them. But they aren't going to listen for a second, they don't want to.
     
  15. annsni

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    Why does God call it "death" if it's not death? Spiritual death and physical death is absolutely similar. The dead have no ability to respond on our own and as we see in Ephesians 2, it is God who does the work while we are still dead.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    So, by that logic you are now unable to sin. Afterall, you are "dead to sin." (Rm 6). Explain that, please.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Ann, another point on death. Have you heard the phrase, "You are dead to me?" Something a father might say to a rebellious son, right? Same thing. It's expressing a need to be reconciled. If it was dead, like a corpse then you wouldn't even have the ability to rebel. You would just be neutral doing nothing good or evil.
     
  18. zrs6v4

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    Because it is a spiritual message and people without the Holy Spirit are spiritually discerned. Those who are born of the flesh are flesh and those who are born of the Spirit are spirit. I think a Calvinist and non-Calvinist would agree that without the work of the Holy Spirit the heart of man is lost... I may be wrong about non-cals

    I think your missing the point Im trying to make. People may acknowledge God and sometimes even Jesus as Savior and Lord, but for a true change in the inner man from self/sin/independance to saving faith in Jesus is a different story. I understood that Jesus died on the cross for me when I was 11 and I wanted to be saved, but yet I wanted nothing to do with Jesus or His will. To have an authentic conversion you need God's help in every way, and that is the very essence of faith.

    Believing something to be true is one thing, but CHOOSING to follow Christ is another. If the demons can believe it, as James indicates, then why can't a natural man?[/QUOTE]

    I have stepped away and recalculated hundreds of times. I will continue to test my beliefs for the rest of my life, but there is absolutely no way of getting around our complete need for God to rescue us. Im sure you have been a believer for many years longer than I have and you have studied a lot more, but with all respect, pull every bible verse about man and tell me the analysis is good. It is very uncomforting and does not look good for a man left by himself. Not only does the fallen state of man bear witness to his need, but I believe there are numerous Scriptures that make us crumble and desperate in the hands of God, and I don't mean 99% desperate. I also don't mean we need a little help to get us on our feet, I mean that we need God 100% and that is faith we trust and rely on Him, not us.
     
  19. Winman

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    In Romans 5, when Paul speaks of death, he is speaking of a legal judgement. If a person commits certain crimes, they may be "sentenced to death" or the "death sentence" pronounced upon them. This doesn't mean they are dead, but it does mean they will be put to death.

    And Jesus showed this.

    John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Jesus said this to living people, so they were not physically dead. No, they are condemned, that is, a judgement of death has been placed on them. They are "condemned to die" or have received the "death sentence".

    That Paul was speaking of a legal judgement or condemnation is clearly stated in verse 18.

    Rom 5:18 Therefore 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.

    Paul says here by Adam came judgement to condemnation. It is the death penalty.

    Now this verse is a real problem for Calvinism, because it says by Adam's sin judgement unto condemnation came upon all men, but then it also says by the righteousness of Jesus came the free gift of justification of life upon all men.

    Every Calvinist will agree that "all men" when speaking of the judgement means all of mankind, but then they will turn around and say "all men" when speaking of the free gift of justification of life only means the elect.

    But that is impossible, this verse is showing parellelism. "All men" in both cases means exactly that, all of mankind without exception. You cannot say all men means all men in one case, and only the elect in another.
     
    #19 Winman, Dec 29, 2009
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  20. zrs6v4

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    spiritual death- means not spiritually alive and unresponsive in spirit
    physical death- means not physically alive and unresponsive in flesh

    "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes."

    The comparison is that the same way God must raise people who are physically dead, He must raise people who are spiritually dead.
     

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