Three Vital Questions.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ron Wood, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Ron Wood

    Ron Wood
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    Here are three vital questions that shape everything we believe about what the Gospel is. How you answer these three questions determines how you view everything else.

    1. What happened in the Garden?

    2. What happened at the cross?

    3. How is it that a sinner believes on Christ?

    I will let you answer before I offer what I trust my soul to be the truth of these questions.
     
  2. Van

    Van
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    Response to Vital Questions

    1. What happened in the Garden?
    This question I think addresses the issue of how was natural mans nature
    altered supernaturally by God's curse? Clearly they were separated spiritually from God. They were expelled and precluded from re-entering. And as a result, all mankind is conceived in inquiry, in a spiritually separated from God state. When scripture says we were "made" sinners, for sure it means we are spiritually "dead" meaning separated from God as unable to do anything to re-enter the "kingdom of God." But it gets worse. Recall when Adam sinned, both Adam and Eve's eyes were opened? This speaks to their spiritual corruption, resulting in mankind's predisposition to sin once we know right from wrong.

    I think most of us would agree with the above. Where we part ways is the assertion that being spiritually dead, separated from God, result in total spiritual inability, unable to respond to the gospel. I believe fallen natural man can understand the milk of the gospel, such that we can trust in Christ in a way which God could choose to credit as righteousness, Romans 4:5.

    2. What happened at the Cross?

    Here the question probably addresses whether Christ died for the supposedly preselected elect, or whether Christ died as a ransom for all. Since false teachers have been "bought" I think Christ died not only for us but also for the whole world - referring to all mankind. But reconciling the world does not mean anyone received that reconciliation. Only when God credits our faith as righteousness and spiritually places us in Christ (the sanctification by the Spirit) do we receive the reconciliation, and become one of the redeemed.

    I think the illustration of the oil lease best illustrates what was accomplished on the cross. Picture a "Big Oil Man" buying a lease for oil on a section of ground. He now has the right to extract all or some or none of the oil, but the oil so to speak has been bought with a price. Now when He extracts some oil, it is like God transferring us from the realm of darkness into His kingdom. Similarly all mankind has been "bought" but only those whose faith God credits as righteousness and spiritually placed "in Christ" receive the reconciliation.

    3. How is it that a sinner believes on Christ?

    First the sinner must hear the gospel, and then have sufficient spiritual ability to respond appropriately such that God credits their faith as righteousness. It is possible to hear such a corrupted gospel (another gospel) that misses the mark so far as to not provide the opportunity to respond appropriately. I think this happened in Matthew 23:13.

    Second the sinner may have hardened his or her own heart such that it is as if they never heard the gospel, what limited spiritual ability they had has been lost, like the first soil of Matthew 13. (And of course, in Romans 11, we see that God has hardened the hearts of some, for His purpose, such that they could not respond, in order to spread the gospel.)
     
    #2 Van, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2011
  3. pinoybaptist

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    Can you give an example of such "false teachers" among today's Christendom, please ?
     
  4. InTheLight

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    Let's not divert the thread. Let's stay on topic.
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Today's false teachers

    Hi Pinoybaptist,

    "Can you give an example of such "false teachers" among today's Christendom, please ? "

    First, lets divide "false teachers" into two groups, (1) folks that know the pure gospel and teach something else, and (2) folks that hold a mistaken view of scripture, but espouse it because they believe it.

    Discussing the gospel with the second group can be profitable, like in Acts 18:24-28. So I try and discuss the gospel, as I understand it, with those interested in "the way of God more accurately."

    But if a poster seems more interesting in discussing my behavior, especially my perceived faults, than in discussing my views, there is little chance for a profitable discussion.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    This is kinda like my earlier posting thread "What did Christ actually accomplish on the cross" that nobody wanted to answer.....

    I agree with you & believe it's critical that we explore Scripture to come up with the answers (because there are many answers) & that those answers will help to define your beliefs. For the record:

    1. He was a final sacrifice for our sin

    2. He was a Propitiation for our sin

    3. He redeemed fallen sinners

    4. He was our ransom paid (our kinsman redeemer)

    5. He reconciled people to God

    6. He Justified guilty sinners

    7. He Sanctified (set us apart) for His holy use

    8. He Perfected us forever (Put us in the Lambs Book of Life) -- Read Hebrews 10:14
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    Response to what Christ accomplished on the cross

    Hi Earth, Wind and Fire,

    1. He was a final sacrifice for our sin
    Not sure what you mean by "final" but Hebrews 9:26 clearly says He sacrificed
    Himself and no other sacrifice is needed as His sacrifice was once for many.

    2. He was a Propitiation for our sin
    Agreed, 1 John 2:2, not only for our, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    3. He redeemed fallen sinners
    No individual is redeemed unless God puts them spiritually "in Christ." So the work of the Cross enabled redemption, but actual redemption is a separate spiritual action, in my view.

    4. He was our ransom paid (our kinsman redeemer)
    Agreed, He laid down His life as a ransom for all.

    5. He reconciled people to God
    I think we agree, I would put it God reconciled the world through Christ.

    6. He Justified guilty sinners
    Similar to reconciliation, Christ's work on the cross provided justification to all men, but only those God spiritually puts "in Christ" receive that justification.

    7. He Sanctified (set us apart) for His holy use
    This one requires some discussion. He did "sanctify" all mankind in that He set us apart from the Old Covenant, and put us under the New Covenant in His blood. So in this sense, even the lost have been "bought"and "sanctified" but not sanctified as in transferred from the realm of darkness into His kingdom. That occurs when God spiritually places us in Christ.

    8. He Perfected us forever (Put us in the Lambs Book of Life) -- Read Hebrews 10:14
    This requires more than one response. He perfected those who are being sanctified. Who are those "being sanctified?" I believe this refers to those who have be placed spiritually in Christ and are now undergoing progressive sanctification as discussed Galatians 5:19-23. Thus those spiritually in Christ are both sanctified, set apart in Christ, and are being sanctified, led by our indwelt Spirit toward more Christ-likeness.
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    then stop sneaking in insinuating phrases. you have no idea of the history of this board. try and find out first.
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    Response to Staying on Track

    Hi In the Light,
    "Let's not divert the thread. Let's stay on topic."

    Thanks for helping us avoid discussing my perceived failures, and focusing rather on Christ and His teachings.
     
  10. canadyjd

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    So, exactly how does a person get to the point that they have "sufficient spiritual ability"?

    Are they born with more spiritual ability than the people who don't have "sufficient spiritual ability"?

    Did they develop their spiritual ability on their own?

    Please explain what you mean.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    Loss of Spiritual Ability

    There are many scriptures indicating a loss of spiritual ability
    so my understanding is that fallen natural folks can understand and appropriately respond to the milk of the gospel. In a prior post I referenced the first soil of Matthew 13. A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some of the seed fell along the path. By way of explanation, in verse 15 we see "For this people's heart has grown dull. Note it suggests a loss of spiritual ability, rather than a dull heart from get go, i.e. the Fall. Jesus taught in parable form rather than presenting the gospel in a straightforward manner to preclude them from understanding, see verses 13-15. The first soil does not understand the gospel. But the other three soils understand, yet not all respond appropriately.

    Now lets back up to verse 12: For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. So if a person has not been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, what he has (knowledge of the kingdom) will be taken away. It would require limited spiritual ability to have some kingdom knowledge.

    In Romans 11:7-11 we see that God harden the hearts of non-believing Jews, giving them a "spirit of stupor". If they had no spiritual ability, God would not need to harden them.

    In Romans 1:19-20 we see fallen men can know about God. Again indicating they have limited spiritual ability.

    But what about the milk of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 and following we see that those who have not been indwelt with the Spirit, cannot understand spiritual things because they are "spiritually discerned." Some under this to refer to "all" spiritual things, rather than some spiritual things, the one discerned with the aid of the Spirit. But this view does not fit with the rest of the passage. In 1 Corinthians 3:1, Paul says he spoke to the infants in Christ as "people of the flesh." And he fed them with "milk" referring to the milk of the gospel. Therefore logical necessity requires the observation that men of the flesh can understand the milk of the gospel.
     
    #11 Van, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2011
  12. canadyjd

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    The question wasn't about loss of spiritual ability. I was responding to your statement about "sufficient spiritual ability".

    How does a person develop or obtain "sufficient spiritual ability" to respond to the gospel?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    You do understand that you are advocating universalism here, if you define world as every person without exception.

    If world means all without exception, then Paul must be interpreted as saying that all men will not have their sins counted against them. That's universalism.

    I'm guessing you don't believe that, so would you exegete 2 Cor 5:19 for us?
     
  14. Van

    Van
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    Reply to Canadyjd,

    I believe scripture says folks can lose their spiritual ability by practicing sin.
    Therefore a fallen natural man has limited spiritual ability to understand the milk of the gospel. So we start with "sufficient spiritual ability" for God's purpose. I do not believe we can increase our spiritual ability before being converted and indwelt. And then it takes time to become mature in Christ. Thus more will be given to the one who is saved, and some, the first soil types, will lose what they had by the practice of sin.
     
  15. Van

    Van
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    Reply to Tom Butler

    I have not advocated universalism. I was referring to 2 Corinthians 5:19.
     
  16. canadyjd

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    You believe every person is born with "sufficient spiritual ability", but loses a little of that ability each time they sin. At some point, they have sinned too much to respond to the gospel and be saved. Is that what you believe?

    So, the people who can be saved aren't as bad as the people who cannot be saved. The people who can respond to the gospel haven't sinned as much as the people who cannot respond to the gospel?

    Is that what you are saying?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  17. freeatlast

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    1. What happened in the Garden?
    The curse on all men; Romans 5:12

    2. What happened at the cross?
    Taking away the sin of the word; john 1:29

    3. How is it that a sinner believes on Christ?
    By hearing the word of God; Romans 10:17
     
    #17 freeatlast, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2011
  18. Van

    Van
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    Reply to Freeatlast

    Hi Freeatlast, yes I think your answers are spot on.
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    how do you interpret 1 Cor 2:14?

    14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
     
  20. Van

    Van
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    Reply to Canadyjd

    Yes, I am saying fallen men, and we are fallen sinners, are born with limited but sufficient spiritual ability to respond appropriately to the milk of the gospel, 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

    No, I am not saying those who respond to the gospel have "sinned less" than those who do not understand it, such as the first soil in Matthew 13.

    Hebrews 3:13 says the deceitfulness of sin hardens our hearts.
     

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