Wherein lieth your Confidence?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    Many posts have been made concerning ones standing before the Lord. Some boast in OSAS and others claim to be able to forfeit their relationship with the Lord. Those on both sides claim assurance of their standing before the Lord. The question to the list is, upon what basis does one place their assurance? How can one be sure that they are not deceived? For the Calvinist, how do I really know that I am truly 'one of the elect?'
     
  2. Amy.G

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    I am assurred of my salvation because I believe in the promises of God. If you believe, you will be saved.
    Abraham believed God and was declared righteous.

    I believe (have faith) in the shed blood of Christ spoken of in God's Holy word and am declared righteous.

    Simple.
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Thanks Amy for the input. Would you like to take a stab at the other question asked? How can one be sure that they are not deceived? For the Calvinist, how do I really know that I am truly 'one of the elect?'
     
  4. Amy.G

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    How can we be deceived if we trust in the truth of God's word and the power and witness of the Holy Spirit?

    John
    39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

    Romans
    16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

    John 15
    26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

    As for the Calvinist, I don't know how they have confidence in their salvation. They don't believe their own faith plays any part in salvation. If you've been elected, you're saved. It has nothing to do with turning to God on their own part, because they say it is impossible for sinful man to turn to God. I have never been able to make any sense out of it.
     
  5. AAA

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    1st John is called the "book of assurance" and CH5 it says we can KNOW if we are saved....

    It is only by the SPIRIT of GOD telling us that we are saved that we KNOW we are saved...........
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Sigh.

    AmyG, It's okay if you don't agree with Calvinism. But you ought to know what it is you disagree with. I am a Calvinist and what you wrote above about us makes no sense to me either. You have so badly mis-stated Calvinist beliefs, that one can only conclude that it is out of ignorance.

    So that you won't look foolish again, let me clarify what we believe.

    My confidence is in the risen Christ, who opened my heart and mind, convicted me of my sins and drew me to repentance and faith in Him. Every Calvinist I know would deny your contention that our faith plays no part in our salvation.

    Election is not salvation. Election is to salvation. That's a huge difference. Even of the most ardent non-Calvinists on the Baptist Board agree with Calvinists on this. Those whom God elects will be saved, and there is no possibility that they won't.

    Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree that election is from eternity. The disagreement is over the ground of election, not the fact of it.

    Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree that no one can turn to God unless he is enabled. Non-Calvinists hold that the one is born with the ability to turn to God. Calvinists say the ability is given is given in time by the Holy Spirit, as He wills. Both Calvinists and non-Cals agree that one must turn from sin and turn to God in faith.

    To answer the question in the OP: When God saves you, it demonstrates that you are one of the elect.
     
  7. Amy.G

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    Posted by Tom Butler:
    Tom, if I look foolish, I consider myself to be in good company because there are many on this board that see Calvinism the say way. It seems there are as many Calvinistic beliefs as there are Calvinists. Four point, five point, three point. What in the world does any of that have to do with the teachings of our Lord?

    I was only being honest in my earlier post. That is what I've interpreted Calvinsts to believe based on what I've read on this board. I don't think that makes me look foolish at all. I think Calvinists look foolish because you all can't even agree on your own doctrine. Calvinists are always saying, "let me tell you what we believe" and it will be different from the next guy who says "let me tell you what we believe". I have seen that repeatedly on this board. And it's me that looks foolish? :rolleyes:
     
  8. billwald

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    >How can we be deceived if we trust in the truth of God's word and the power and witness of the Holy Spirit?

    The LDS says the same thing.

    It is a straw man question because most people don't think about it. Christianity invents questions and then supplies the answer.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    The Calvinism I'm speaking of is the 5-point kind. And I'm not speaking of hyper-Calvinism, which probably comes as close to your description as any.

    If you're going to deal with 3-pointers, 4-pointers, 5-pointers, etc., you cannot lump them all together and tar them with the same brush. I think you will find a remarkable consistency in belief among the 5-pointers.

    If you insist on still applying your description in post #4 to 5-pointers, you will lose credibility. It doesn't apply to three- or four-pointers either.
     
  10. billwald

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    Was the writer of 1 John a 3 or 4 pointer?
     
  11. Amy.G

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    ..........:laugh:
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Brother Bill, I'm not going to debate this question. Others are much better than I.
    All I want is for each side in a debate to not misrepresent the other's position. Giving your view of the implications of an opposiing position is not the same as mis-stating the position in the first place.

    I plead guilty to doing it before. Got my hand slapped for it. Deserved it.
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Could you explain to the list the distinction between a hyper Calvinist and a 5-point Calvinist? Thanks.
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Even faith to a Calvinist is a gift from God, again man having no part in the 'causing' of it in relationship to salvation. I would like to hear Tom Butler’s response to the following question. If man has to accept or reject salvations offer, and one expects others to distinguish between points of Calvinism, how can a dead man, in the sense of man being born total depraved from birth, do anything? If man can do nothing at all with their natural abilities granted to us by God, how can say a 3 or 4 point Calvinist claim any real difference between them and say a 5 point Calvinist? A dead man cannot resist any more than he can accept on his own, so tell me why grace, the granting of the necessary abilities to respond to the gospel (or so I have heard it alluded to) be not thought of as being ‘irresistible?’
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    A five-point Calvinist is one who holds to the basic five points of Reformed theology: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited or Particular Atonement, Irresistible (or Overcoming) Grace, and Preservation/Perserverance of the Saints. As a rule, five-pointers hold that men and women are saved through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They also advocate missions and evangelism--that people are saved through "the foolishness of preaching"--I Cor 1:21.

    Hyper-Calvinists are five-pointers as well, but hold that people can be saved independently of the gospel. They hold that God's elect will be saved whether they ever hear the gospel or not. Those who hold this view are commonly known as Primitive Baptists or Hardshell Baptists.
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I, for one, see no ‘huge difference’ between the beliefs Tom. What is the ‘huge difference between 4+1+5 and 3+2=5 when the end is precisely the same? How can you say that you disagree over ‘the grounds’ of it when in fact the grounds for either view is God and God alone? Would it not be the ‘conditions’ one would ‘like to think’ they believe in that you differ over? Even then, what do conditions matter if it as you say and there is “no possibility” that one of the elect will not be saved? The bottom line is the same, is it not? Necessitated fatalism. Impossibility of any other outcome than one elected by God and God alone from all eternity. As I see it, both views eliminate man entirely from God's chosen end.

    What am I not understanding concerning the ‘huge difference?’
     
  17. Helen

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    Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree that election is from eternity. The disagreement is over the ground of election, not the fact of it.

    Um....no. I disagree. I am a non-Calvinist and I disagree that election is from eternity. Unless, of course, you are talking about the Jewish people in general. Which I am sure you are not.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Helen--and HP: I'm not going to debate this subject. Others are better qualified. But I will try to explain why both Cals and non-Cals agree that election is from eternity.

    Non-Cals hold that election is based on God's forseeing faith in a person and elects him accordingly. I believe that takes place in eternity since there is not a time when God did not know or forsee that person's faith. Non-Cals may believe that one who is saved is thus elected, in time. But in the mind of God, who is above time, that salvation, and election, is an accomplished fact from eternity.

    Helen, I'd be interested in why you disagree. Or, having read my understanding of non-Cal views, is there an area where we do agree? I don't want to mis-state what I believe your position is, so I'm open to correction there.
     
  19. Dustin

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    I was reading over all this discussion and it reminded me of a nifty little chart one of the guys at PuritanBoard made about Calvinism.

    It's right here: http://www.exegiaaudio.org/exegiacalvinismchart.mht

    I would fall somewhere between High and Ultra High Calvinism. According to the chart, I'm more of a Calvinist than Calvin himself. Go figure.

    Now I know this isn't the end all of the whole discussion, but I think it is helpful as far as seperating the many different views.


    Again, I'll say that the 5 points are not the end all of Reformed theology either. They are simply a summary of biblical soteriology. If one want to claim to be "Refomed", there's a lot more to it that believeing the 5 points. It strikes me funny when people are quick to decalre "I'm Reformed!" having no idea what it all entails. For instance, many Baptists who claim such are against the very creeds and confessions that we use as summaries of ALL our beliefs. It'd be akin to me throwing a baseball against a wall once and tellng people "yeah, I'm a baseball player." There's just a lot more to it than that.



    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Dustin
     
  20. BobRyan

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    Hmm -- two-flavors of 5 pointers. I never knew that.

    Thanks for sharing. I have not been going after hypercalvinists at all.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     

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