Which comes first?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Dec 16, 2013.

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  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Which comes first?

    Belief or Life?
    John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    Cleansing Oneself or Receiving a New Heart and Spirit?
    Ezekiel 18:31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.

    Cleansing Oneself or Becoming an vessel used for noble purposes by the Potter?
    2 Tim. 2:20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

    Turning to the Lord or The removal of the Veil which keeps us in darkness?
    2 Cor. 3:16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

    Believing the Word of God being Preached or Being Born Again?
    1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.

    Confession of Sin or Purifying from Sin?
    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

    In each and every situation the man’s is RESPONSIBLE (able to respond) to the revelation or appeal of God, and THEN comes the life, rebirth, new heart, new spirit, removal of veil, purification, cleansing and so forth. Never once is the order reversed.

    Yes, God is responsible for giving a new heart, removing the veil, and forgiving us of our sins as he is the only one with the power to do so, but he does so when we respond as response-able moral agents, because that is the way HE WANTS IT ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Good list!

    Also include Romans 10

    [FONT=&quot]Rom 10[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
    9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
    10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." [/FONT]
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Life!

    John 3:3-12
    3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    4. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
    5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
    9. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
    10. Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
    11. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
    12. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?


    Pay particular attention to Verses 8 & 12!

    And then there is this:

    Ephesians 1:3-6
    3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    4. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.


    I believe the above shows God doing it all as well as the following.

    Ephesians 2:1-10
    1. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
    2. in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
    3. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
    4. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    5. even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    6. and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
    7. in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    8. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
    9. not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
    10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


    A number of things happen when a person is saved. Faith is an essential aspect of salvation so it is not unusual or odd that Scripture would include faith when discussing those who have experienced redemption by God.
     
  4. BobRyan

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    Belief or Life?
    John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    End of story.


    And "yet" we must consider -



    [FONT=&quot]Rom 10[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
    9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
    10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." [/FONT]



    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    There is a clear distinction between spiritual life and judicial life. The former comes by impartation in new birth and the latter comes by imputation in justification. Justification reverses legal condemnation in heaven due to your position in Christ whereas spiritual life comes by way of new birth in your own person on earth.

    [
    You are confusing obligation with ability.

    These are already saved persons as they are already in God's household and the subject is service not salvation.

    The power and ability to turn to the Lord is plainly spelled out in 2 Cor. 3:3-6

    You are confusing the written word with the living incarnate word who empowers the gospel when the elect are quickened as a creative work.

    The "we" are already saved persons. In each case above the OBLIGATION is expressed but the ability is not found in the person but in the Lord.

    1 John 5:1 the perfect tense "born of God" and the present tense participle "believeth" are properly expressed in regard to the time of action as simeltaneous or the state of being verb "is." There is no such thing as can unregenerated beleiver or a regenerated unbeliever just as there is no such thing as a unrepentant beleiver or a repentant unbeliever. These are inseparable graces in a logical cause and effect relationship but not a chronological relationship
     
  6. BobRyan

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  7. BobRyan

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    Belief or Life?

    John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    End of story.

    And "yet" we must consider -


    [FONT=&quot]Rom 10[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
    9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
    10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." [/FONT]


    It is easy to see how the Arminian position is "in the text" and how the Calvinist position more or less dies in these two examples.

    But what about the text that is supposed to refute the Arminian position that was given earlier from Ephesians?

    4. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    5. even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    6. and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,

    Obviously it can not refute one or the other if not does not oppose, if both agree then it cannot refute. Both Calvinism and the Arminian position agree that a born again Christian "the new creation" and "raised in newness of life" is the one who is "alive" and not dead.

    BOTH Calvinism and the Arminian position would agree that someone NOT justified and NOT born again and WITHOUT the new nature - is NOT the one "Alive" and is the one "Dead in transgression".

    In the Arminian model God takes the one who is dead in sin - and yet has chosen confession, repentance and the Gospel - and makes them "ALIVE together with Christ".

    In the Calvinist model God mind-zap them while they are dead in sin - causes them to be born again before they choose anything - and then they choose repentance, confession and the gospel having been already fully reprogrammed - full mind-zap.

    But in BOTH models the one dead in sin is "made alive in Christ" so NEITHER position is refuted in this quote of Ephesians.

    Thus here again -- Calvinism only works by extreme inference and ignoring the details in the text.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. Skandelon

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    There are at least a dozen more that could be used, but this is a great one because it references the heart specifically. If there was ever an opportunity for Paul to mention the need of the implanting of a new heart in order to confess, this would have been it.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    How does the 'wind' blow? What means does the Spirit use to carry His message, the Word of God? The 1 Peter passage I quote above answers that question by revealing that we are born again from the word of God, the very word that is preached. So, indeed the message (wind) does go here and there like the wind being carried by the Bride all over the world. The point is that this passage doesn't address the means or even the effectuality of the 'wind,' but other passages are clearer.


    Several questions with my answers:
    1. Who is chosen? "us"
    2. Who is 'us?' Believers in Christ, ..."IN HIM." (mention several times)
    3. What has he chose for us, those "in Him?" To be holy and blameless (that is sanctification) So, God has chosen for us, those in Christ, to become sanctified.
    4. Who is predestined? the same 'us,' those 'in Him.'
    5. What has he predestined for us? To be adopted. Something we as believers are eagerly awaiting (Rm 8), but we know is coming because we have been predestined for it.

    I'm not sure how this contradicts the passages I already presented unless you read them to mean that God has individually predetermined the faith of some and not others.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Kind of like the difference between natural and spiritual abilities?

    Too bad the uneducated, weak, humble folks that scriptures indicate God chose to save (not so unconditional sounding to me), because they didn't have a copy of Calvin's institute there beside them to help them to know when God was talking about one kind of life over the other.

    As Bob pointed out already, the text makes no such distinction and when you start imposing these types of 'interpretive tactics' onto a text then we might as well end it there because clearly you are willing to do whatever it takes to make the text fit your system.

    A systematic theologian often does that, but a true biblicist would not. Spurgeon is a good example. He was a biblicist and more reformed in his beliefs too. He refused to do injustice to a text simply because it didn't fit the Calvinistic system, like you go on to do below...

    Really? God brings us to life twice? No wonder many Calvinists have even abandoned the 'pre-regeneration' view.

    The obligation to respond strongly infers the ability to respond, otherwise known as 'responsibility.' To deny it is to undermine the very reasons Paul declared that all men are 'without excuse' in Romans 1.

    And by the way, we CAN and DO respond to the LAW. We are held responsible for that response too. The two POSSIBLE responses are to TRY to fulfill it yourself (which is impossible), or to trust in Christ, who fulfilled it for us.

    So you're suggesting a saved person may not be cleansed and used for noble purposes? I think you are drawing a distinction between salvation and lordship that scripture doesn't make.

    And even still, does your system EVER, even for those already regenerated, suggest that man is to 'cleanse himself' so as to be used for noble purposes?

    I just read those verses and not seeing how that counters what Paul goes on to say about the need to TURN PRIOR TO having the veil removed. None of us deny the enabling power of the Spirit, remember? We only disagree as to the EFFECTUALITY of that power.

    I'm not confusing them, I'm just not making the error of separating them from each other. God uses means and the WORD, both spoken and written, are already empowered because they are FROM GOD. Truth has the power to set men free. And if you read that text again in 1 Peter, he even goes on down to define the WORD that he is referencing by saying, "And this is the word that was preached to you."
    Those are the means by which men are born again. He cannot be much more clear.
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    We are sinners in regard to our LEGAL POSITION before the Law of God as we are under the LEGAL condemnation of the law with the legal verdict of death. However, in regard to our PERSONAL CONDITION we are spiritually dead, meaning our human spirit is actually separated from God and thus spiritually dead.

    Regeneration restores our actual condition from spiritual death to spiritual life while justification restores our legal condition from condemnation/death to justification of eternal life.

    Regeneration actually IMPARTS eternal life to our spirit while justification legally IMPUTES eternal life to our position before God. We are children (Gr. Teknia) by spiritual birth but sons (Huios) or legal heirs by justification.

    So in regard to your quetion "God brings us to life twice" the answer is yes, but not "spiritual" life twice! Spiritual life occurs with regeneration of our person while legal life is the legal verdict due to imputed righteousness of Christ before the Law of God. Both are eternal life but the former is spiritual due to imparted spiritual life in our person by actual spiritual union with God while the latter is judicial due to a legal change of position before the law from condemnation unto death to justification of eternal life based upon the imputed righteousness of Christ.

    In the initial salvation action regeneration logically (not chronologically) precedes justification and so SPIRITUAL LIFE is imparted which is inclusive of faith which obtains JUDICAL LIFE. So there is no such thing as an regenerated unbeliever (hyper calvinism) or a unregenerated believer (Arminiansims).

    Now, I realize what kind of reaction I will receive from the Arminians and hyper-calvinists but for those who have ears to hear let them hear, let them prayerfully consider these words.
     
    #11 The Biblicist, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2013
  12. Skandelon

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    It's a good thing you are here to explain that for God since evidently he forgot to tell the author's to say all that... ;)
     
  13. Skandelon

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    We obtain eternal life by faith, because, while we are out of Christ, we are dead, and we are restored to life by his grace alone.

    It is in God's hands to give life, and He does give it to all that believe: not that believing merits life, but that is a divine choice based on His good grace alone.
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    Those who carefully consider what I have said, will understand every aspect is completely Biblical.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Really, where does it speak of "judicial life" or "legal life" verses "spiritual life"?

    Why not accept the verse at its face value and affirm that life is granted by God to those who believe and leave it at that? Do you really believe God needed a bunch of lawyers to explain the nuances of these words to the weak, uneducated, lowly folks that He chooses to save?
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    So I get this right.....I need examples

    a unregenerated believer---You mean a Carnal Christian right?

    a regenerated unbeliever----thats harder to comprehend. you mean an elect that hasn't been saved/regenerated.....Like me 3 yrs ago. although you could have called me a Carnal Christian & been correct as well. In either event, there was NO indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the agent of change.

    No wait...... you cant be Regenerated & choose not to believe....thats a contradiction
     
    #16 Earth Wind and Fire, Dec 17, 2013
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  17. OldRegular

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    Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    John Gill might shed some light on the issue.:thumbs: But then again he might confuse some even further!:smilewinkgrin:

     
  18. Protestant

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    Arminians answer: Belief.

    Jesus answers: Life.

    If it is true that all men are born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, then it is impossible for man to come to faith before spiritual life is given.

    This is due to the fact that saving faith in Christ is spiritual and not carnal.

    The Bible speaks to the issue of carnal faith.

    Those are they whom the Scripture calls ‘tares’ sown among the wheat, ‘goats’ in comparison to sheep, ‘never known’ in comparison to ‘foreknown.’

    The Scripture in question does not negate the eternal truth that saving faith is the necessary effect of spiritual life; rather John is emphasizing the truth of continuing in belief.

    The biblical heedings which warn of the danger of temporary faith which is carnal in nature are numerous.

    It is quite frightening to think of the masses of professing Christians who claim to have once said the ‘Sinners Prayer’, or ‘asked Jesus into their hearts' when a mere child, or were baptized……all proving they once believed.

    However, no fruit was forthcoming to prove their faith was spiritually created by God.

    Instead, their faith was carnally created by man.

    “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    Conclusion: No man can say with saving faith Jesus is the Lord, but only after having been quickened to life by the Holy Ghost.
     
  19. The Biblicist

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    If the word of God was so simple then there would be no disgreements or thousands of denominations but one great CombaYah fellowship. Diligent study is work.

    Most studied evangelical's realize that justification is a legal term that has to do with our LEGAL POSITION before the Law and the righteousness received is IMPUTED not imparted righteousness. Justification by the life of Christ is necessary because we have been LEGALLY CONDEMNED "under law" as violators of the Law. Justification removes us out from under that legal standing and to a new legal standing before God that justifies us for eternal life. God had told Israel to "do this and live" as that would be the legal justification for eternal life. Failure brought us under legal condemnation to death. Christ's righteousness is imputed to us by faith and thus "life" is legally justified by the law.

    Most studied evangelicals realize that regeneration has to do with our very person (not our legal position) or anything to do with the Law. Regeneration literally brings us into actual spiritual union with God who is life. It is through this spiritual union the righteousness of God is imparted (not imputed) into our very life by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The Greek uses two different terms to refer to our life legally versus spiritually. Spiritually we are "teknia" by new birth - life through birth whereas, legally we are "huios" by law - life through legal declaration. In every case where eternal life follows faith it refers to our legal position as "huios" or sons. However, in every case where spiritual life is due to birth we are identifid as "teknia" or legal heirs or "sons".
     
  20. Skandelon

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    So its a problem with the Word? OR could it be that God grants men the ability to respond freely and thus some make mistakes? See, my system actually leaves room for all these various views because my view teaches RESPONSIBILITY, where in your view the mistakes are made by God's will, not man's. Because in your system, as you admitted before, it is God who chooses to "give a the necessary measure of grace" to some of his children and not others as they make doctrinal decisions.

    So, if I'm mistaken theologically it could only be because God, for his own Glory, has decided not to give me the necessary measure of grace needed to become a Calvinist. But if I'm correct theologically and Calvinists are mistaken, it is because I responded CORRECTLY to his given revelation and you will be held responsible for your errors. Either way, I'm feel pretty good about where I'm standing in this situation...I can't lose. :)
     
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