The Offer of the Gospel

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Oct 2, 2013.

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  1. Skandelon

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    In the SBC a recent report from a group of Calvinistic Baptists made this declaration:

    "The Offer of the Gospel
    We affirm that the Gospel is to be made known freely to all in the good faith offer that if anyone confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord and believes in his heart that God has raised Christ from the dead, he will be saved.
    We deny that the Gospel lacks any power to save anyone who believes in Christ and receives him as Savior and Lord. Anyone who understands the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit may, in prayer and petition, trust Christ through repentance and faith, and we should plead with all sinners to do so."​

    Historically, Calvinists (the not hyper version) have affirmed that the gospel appeal is to be made to all equally and with a genuine desire and expectation that all may respond. Agreed?

    If so, here is my question for Calvinistic believers: When God chose to make an appeal for fallen sinners to be reconciled from that fallen condition (which we all agree he did), why do you believe he made that appeal such that it was not powerful enough to enable the fallen hearer to respond willingly?

    Isn't that a lot like a doctor saying, "I have found the cure for cancer but you are unable to receive the cure for cancer because you have cancer???"

    Do you understand my question? It just seems that at some point God had to either decide that man's nature would be 'too fallen' for the gospel, OR that the gospel would be 'too benign' for the fallen nature...or both? Why would he make such a decision? And is there biblical support for this?
     
  2. Yeshua1

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    The power of God in the Gospel Does indeed accomplished its task, as that is the agent that God ordain was the method to have His elected ones to get saved, by hearing the good news, and by the Spriit Himself quickening them to respond and receive jesus to get saved!

    its not lacking anything, but not intended by God to save all who hear it!
     
  3. Herald

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    Cite for me one respected Calvinist theologian who believes that elect individuals do not respond willingly.

    God made no such decision.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Willingly means positively....i.e. he willingly went to the feast. According to Calvinistic doctrine mankind cannot respond willingly to the gospel appeal unless first regenerated. That is what I was talking about.



    So, is it your contention that it just happened by accident? Chance? Is that the one thing God didn't decree to happen? Is that the one thing that God isn't 'sovereign' over? Please expound.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    But, the point is that even Calvinists agree that the gospel is meant to be proclaimed to all. And my question is about why God would decide to send an appeal for reconciliation to all fallen people which wasn't powerful enough to enable a response on the basis that they were fallen?
     
  6. Herald

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    Rule #1 in theological debate: never assume.

    According to irrefutable biblical doctrine the sinner has to be regenerated first before he can believe. How many times will Rom. 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13 et. al. have to be cited to make the point that sinners are not only unwilling, but unable to believe? It takes a unilateral work of grace, by the Holy Spirit, to make an individual capable of belief (Eph. 2:4,5; Col. 2:13).

    I am not sure what it is you are really asking. God created Adam with the ability to sin or not to sin. Adam acted as the fair and just representative of the human race. When Adam sinned he did so as our fair and just representative. As a result all human beings are born in sin (Rom. 5:12). None of this happened outside of God's omniscience.

    Does God intend for every person to come to faith in Christ. No. If God decreed every person to come to faith in Christ, then every person would come to faith in Christ. Then is it left up to chance? No one comes to faith in Christ by chance. Those who come to faith in Christ are chosen by the Father (JN. 6:37). That is where we see God's will of decree at work.
     
  7. Skandelon

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    Funny that not one of your proof texts even mentions man's inability to believe.

    It talks about not submitting to God law (Rm 8), but somehow you apply that to your belief that man isn't able to trust in Christ who fulfills the law.

    It talks about man's inability to understand the deep things of the Spirit, which even the carnal brethren of Corinth weren't able to accept (1 Cor. 2-3), but nothing about an inability to believe the clearly revealed gospel message discerned for us by Holy Spirit inspired messengers.

    It talks about being dead spiritually (Eph/Col), but you read that to mean more than separation (i.e. the prodigal son was said to be 'dead but now alive'), but you ASSUME the analogy of spiritual 'death' means total inability to respond even to the life giving powerful gospel appeal.

    NOT ONE of those texts even mentions faith or belief, yet they are all you can offer to prop up you system's claims that men are born unable to believe the gospel. You don't find that troubling?
     
  8. InTheLight

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    Doesn't Romans 1:16 definitively answer the question?

    Romans 1:16
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
     
  9. Herald

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    What are the "things of the Spirit of God" (1 Cor. 2:14)? They are "the things freely given to us by God" (1 Cor. 2:12). Those "things" are whatever the Spirit chooses to reveal including, but not limited to, the Gospel. The natural man of verse 14 "cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised". Since the natural man - the sinner - does not have the Spirit of God he is UNABLE to appraise the things of the Spirit.

    Romans 8 begins with the sinner's deliverance from bondage. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (v. 1). The sinner is set free from the law of sin and death (v. 2). The former sinner, now Christian, walks according to the Spirit (v. 4). These blessings are contrasted against those who are "according to the flesh" and who set their minds on the "things of the flesh" (v. 5). The mind set on the flesh is death (v. 6). Why? Because the mind set on the flesh "is hostile toward God"; it does not "subject itself to the law of God"; and it "is not even able to do so". Again, why? Because those who are in the flesh "cannot please God" (v. 8). The sinner is once again proven to be UNABLE. In context of the chapter the sinner is unable to subject himself to the "law of the Spirit of life" (v. 2).

    Ephesians 2:1 introduces the fact that the sinner is dead in sin. You and I have debated this before, but it bears repeating. The word for "dead" in Ephesians 2:1 is "nekros". It is the word for a dead body; a corpse. The sinner is spiritually dead in the same way that a body is physically dead. Left to his own devices the sinner can no more conjure up faith then a rock can sprout wings and fly. It takes the unilateral work of a loving God to change the status quo of death and make the sinner capable of believing.

    Ephesians 2:4, 5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ* (by grace you have been saved),

    *emphasis mine

    Even while we were dead... Things that are dead do not make any volitional decisions. Why? Because they are dead. Not only is the dead sinner UNABLE to believe, it is impossible for him to believe apart from God quickening him. That is why I love the words "But God" in Ephesians 2:4. God took action when the sinner could not. The passage in Colossians teaches the same exact thing.

    Your soteriology falls under the weight of its own fallacies and unbiblical reasoning. It has proven to be untenable time and time again; and considering the fact that you bring up the same topics repeatedly, it will continue to be untenable - ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.
     
  10. Iconoclast

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    :thumbsup::applause::thumbsup: Case closed....
     
  11. webdog

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    Things that are dead cannot he held accountable for being dead, nor can they be punished. Things that are dead also were once alive.
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    not according to Paul....
    6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
     
  13. Herald

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    Is that a biblical argument?
     
  14. webdog

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    You don't get it. The comparison was made to a corpse. Take a corpse to court and sue, and then beat it for punishment and tell me the corpses reaction.
     
  15. webdog

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    Its a logical argument. The Bible is filled with them.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    Yet, the brethren who were living on the milk, not the meat weren't able to accept these things either, thus proving he isn't addressing man's ability to respond willingly to the gospel (which btw, is 'appraised' or 'discerned' by the spirit when the apostles discerned it for us and wrote it down by inspiration.)

    Nevertheless, my point remains. The word faith or ability or gospel are not even mentioned yet this is what you have to offer as your proof text that men are unable to believe the gospel.

    Unable to subject yourself to law is NOT equal to being unable to believe in one who fulfills the law for us. Man's inability to earn forgiveness is not equal to man's inability to humbly ask for it...you seem to equate the two.

    Again, the word faith or ability or gospel are not even mentioned yet this is what you have to offer as your proof text that men are unable to believe the gospel.

    Really? How many corpses rebel against and reject the appeals of their creator? You can't PRESUME the corpse concept applies to man's inability to accept and not his ability to reject. Like I said, and you ignored, the father said of the Prodigal (who decided to come home) that he was dead and now is alive.

    Plus, James 1 tells us that sin gives birth to death as if it happens over a long period of time in rebellion...not necessarily from birth.

    I agree. He needs a gracious revelation of God. Faith comes by hearing.

    Paul also call believers 'dead to sin' but you don't believe that means we are unable to make any volitional decisions to sin, do you?

    Please list the fallacies and make your case, otherwise these are empty, baseless accusations. Thus far you are making the case that men are born unable to believe God's powerful life giving gospel appeal using verses that don't even mention faith, ability or the gospel. That is fallacious and unbiblical reasoning.
     
  17. Herald

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    Unbiblical logic. If you disagree prove it from scripture.
     
  18. webdog

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    What is unbiblical, that corpses feel no pain? Corpses werent once full of life? What exactly are you calling illogical here?

    Unbiblical logic is what Skan already called you out on, using Bible in an illogical and faulty way.
     
  19. Herald

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    Yes. I sure do. I double and triple down on it.

    "Not even able to do"
    "He cannot understand them"
    "Dead in trespasses and sins"



    I quadruple down.

    I love how you just brush away the truth even when it jumps up, bites you on the hindquarters, and refuses to let go.

    James is warning Christians about the seriousness of sin. That is the context it needs to be understood in.


    Different context.

    The fact that you are tone deaf and cannot realize I already did list them is not surprising.
     
  20. Herald

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    I would love to continue this but I have to get some shut eye. I will be happy to correct your errors again in the morning.

    Say goodnight, Gracie.
     
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