What happened to you?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jarthur001, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    On another thread Havensdad said...

    I want to ask other Calvinist here what it was like when they 1st gave themself over to fully embrace the Doctrines of Grace.

    Once a month I meet with other Reformed pastors to fellowship pray and talk about our ministy. We also read a book and talk about it. A few months ago we all read "What's so great about the Doctrines of Grace. This is a very good short read and overview of the doctrines. It is something good to pass out for those that are just beginning to understand the doctrines we love.

    In the book the writer told of this feeling that came over him just after he gave himself over to the doctrines. He said it was like a new birth, or maybe he said..rebirth feeling. (i do not have my book with me). Like he was saved all over again. When I read this I said..YES YES...I can relate.

    I recall it brought me to my knees and I cried for an hour or more. Now the interesting part is this. Each pastor in our fellowship told of the same story.

    How about other Calvinist? What happened to you if anything? Please share your story.
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Good thread Jarth,

    I didn't have the same kind of experience like you describe, but it was no less profound to me. One of the things I realized was that I was very, very inconsistent "arminian" All of my convictions were strictly "calvinist" but I talked like an evangelical arminian. What changed my understanding of how God saves a man was seeing His sovereignty in Scripture. I had seen on the internet some of the debate and understood to a small degree what calvinism was, but I wasn't going to commit myself to a theology apart from the Word of God.

    So I started reading the Bible beginning in Genesis asking the Lord to reveal Himself to me and, if He will, show me one way or the other about the CA issue. When I got to Pharoah in Exodus and looked at how the Apostle Paul interprets that passage I could not refute it. And then I realized something: WHY AM I TRYING TO REFUTE THIS?

    I submitted my reasoning, pride, and rebellion to the Lord. Who was I to reply against God? After this I started looking into those who believed the same way and that is where I found the writings of C.H. Spurgeon. I found that he taught on these subjects. I read his sermon on election and was deeply moved by it. I had never heard the doctrine of election preached in a church before and Spurgeon's work on it was thorough.

    THe doctrines of grace were easy for me to accept, though I struggled a bit with Limited Atonement. They were easy for me to accept because my own salvation answered back to those five points with a hearty AMEN! The doctrines of Grace, that is, Calvinism, so far and above bring glory to God than the other views I wonder why Christians don't receive it just on that.

    By the way, what moved my understanding of the atonement from the false universal idea to particular redemption was Jesus' prayer in John 17. You cannot separate Christ's intercession from His redemption without doing horrible injustice to the Scriptures.

    Edited to add in: One form of teaching that is having a profound impact on my life is understanding the Covenants, or what some would call Covenant Theology. Understanding that God has related to mankind by Covenant is amazing. Knowing that God has made a Covenant with me is profoundly humbling.

    RB
     
    #2 ReformedBaptist, Aug 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2008
  3. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Well, a fellow baptist pastor and I would be dealing with the issues from Scripture.

    I would be asking him questions from my Arminian bent and he would be demonstrating from Scripture the doctrines of grace.

    The hardest one to put my mind around was Unconditional election, but one I saw it, everything else began to jell.

    Now, I've gone passed him regarding Limited Atonement. He's open to being a 4-pointer here. But I'm a 5-pointer all the way.
     
  4. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    It was 1Cor 13 for me. :)

    God is love
    Love never fails.


    Thanks for sharing. Do we have any more stories out there?
     
  5. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    Hello TC,

    That is interesting. Most Calvinist I have talked with have the biggest struggle over the atonement. Election was not really hard for me.

    Thanks for sharing
     
  6. nunatak

    nunatak
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    I came out of heresy last year. One of the first persons I began discussing biblical doctrine with was reformed and loved to teach from Martin Luther.

    Soon after that, I watched the Amazing Grace DVD. Needless to say, I was stunned.

    I had never heard of

    Salvation by grace
    Justification by faith
    Dead in trespasses and sin
    Atonement that is limited (at one time I thought the fact that some would be lost was a failure of the church)
    That the saints would persevere.

    Oh, what joy I knew!! I don't understand much of what I just typed, it is all so new.

    It is truly amazing.
     
  7. skypair

    skypair
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    Has it occurred to any of you...

    ...that, perhaps, the "doctrines of grace" are merely a "derivative" of the gospel and of scripture?

    ...that somehow the Armenians were able to "derive" their theology from the same Bible you derived yours from?

    When oil is refined, we process it so that it makes diesel, gasoline, etc. and there are "leftovers," like minute amounts of natural gas and impurities that are not worth collecting so they are sent to the "cracking tower" for burning into the atmosphere.

    What has the "doctrines of grace" done with "WHOSOEVER believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life?" Is "whosoever" just a "throwaway word?"

    If regeneration precedes faith, then what happened to "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and [then] ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

    We have these "derivatives" (we usually call them 'denominations') because some thought they could explain the Bible better than others. And many seemed to, too! Some liked that eschatology could be explained to them. Some that election could be understood better. Others thought to explain the role of works better.

    But see, by doing so, we fail to come to the "unity in the knowledge and faith of Jesus Christ" that is called for in the church by scripture. You've very much made a "line in the sand" against your brothers which, like Pharoah, turns around to harm you.

    Now, I guess I should add that this is not a personal attack on any of you. It is merely a lengthy question as to whether you have considered these issues.

    skypair
     
  8. JerryL

    JerryL
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    I would guess that a lot "Armenians" don't even read a Bible. :tongue3:
     
    #8 JerryL, Aug 24, 2008
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  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I guess it was more than 35 years ago that I borrowed a book on Systematic Theology from my pastor. It didn't start with Calvinism; it started with the existence of God, with chapters on his nature and his attributes.

    By the time I got to the chapter on election, I had been sufficiently prepared, and thus could see how it fit in a systematic way. The treatment of the other parts of the TULIP also made sense.

    Full of enthusiam for my new discovery, I raised the issue with an associate pastor. His bristled and responded, "well, you can believe that stuff but it won't preach."

    When we were without a pastor, I taught on the subject of Election in a Sunday evening Bible Study. In the service to follow, I was publicly corrected by the interim pastor.

    Why did I embrace Calvinism then and not before? One reason is that I had never been exposed to it before. But once I read about it, I believe it was the work of the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to the truth.
     
  10. AresMan

    AresMan
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    The word whosoever means nothing apart from the attached action. It is whosoever believeth, or in the Greek πας ο πιστευων ("all the believers"). God loved the world so that all the believers into Him would have everlasting life. The same Jesus who said this is the same Jesus who said the following:

    This sounds rather similar to John 3:16, doesn't it? Now, what else does Jesus say in this passage?

    No one can come unless he is given the ability (or desire) to come. Now, what is characteristic of those that do come?

    They are drawn by the Father. Do all those who are drawn by the Father in this definition come, or are those who come merely a subset of those who are drawn? Well, the antecedent of the the him that is raised up at the last day is the him who is drawn by the Father. Therefore, all who are drawn by the Father in this definition come to the Son.

    All that the Father gives to the Son shall come; then, all those who do come will not be cast out. The terms for the Father drawing and the Father giving to the Son are synonomous in reference to the set of their object. All who are drawn by the Father and given to the Son will come to the Son.

    Those who are referenced in 40 are said to be raised at the last day. They see the Son and believe on Him. Those who are referenced as will be "raised up at the last day" must be all the same people; therefore, all the statements made about the ones "raised up at the last day" must all be characteristic of those who see the Son and believe. The ones who ultimately see the Son and believe are drawn by the Father, given to the Son, and will never be cast out.

    The source of the knowledge and faith of the Gospel comes from the Father. All who will be "raised up at the last day" are drawn by the Father, taught the Gospel, given to the Son, they see and believe, and will never be cast out.

    John 6 is shockingly clear that the reason that anyone believes the Gospel is because of an effectual work of God on his part and within him to make it happen. The ones who see the Son, believe, and will be raised up at the last day are the same ones who, of themselves, cannot come unless the Father draws them (an effectual act of God), teaches them His truth (an effectual act of God), and gives them to the Son (an effectual act of God). Their seeing and believing the Son, and coming to Him are just as much effectual works of God as are His drawing, teaching giving, securing, and raising. Salvation from start to finish is an effectual act of God. God gets all the glory! Not most of it, but ALL of it!

    What about "Be ye perfect as I the Lord am perfect"? Just because God commands something does not mean that it is easy or possible for one to do it. Also, one is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit until he exercises the gift of faith in the Gospel.

    This all sounds like an effectual work of God on the part of certain people. "Regeneration precede faith" is not a chronological statement; it is a cause-effect statement. I believe that regeneration and faith are chronologically simultaneous, but regeneration is the cause and faith is the effect--like pulling a trigger on a gun is a cause and a bullet firing is the effect.

    We cannot claim any credit for the ultimate fact that we are saved. Our faith, our justification, our sanctification, our glorification--ALL of it comes from God. God and God alone gets all the glory for anything that has to do with our pleasing Him.
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    Why did you reply this way SP? This reply is off-topic. There are plenty of other threads to debate calvinism. Let's keep this one on the OP please.

    RB
     

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