Why believers cannot resist sinful temptations? (continue conversation)

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

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  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    I was in a conversation with Biblicist when the thread closed (why that is necessary, I'm still not sure), but I ended with these conclusions about the Calvinistic system.

    When a believer sins he does so because God, for His own secret purposes, has not granted him the ability to yield or resist that given sinful act in that given circumstance. Thus, the believer, without the needed amount of grace, is certain to fall back into his flesh and sin. On the other hand, if the believer does yield and resist the temptations, that is solely due to God's choice to grant him the necessary grace to do so.

    Thus, in the Calvinistic system, God is not only effectually causing the choices of the lost to be saved through regeneration, but he is causing each individual choice of every believer as to whether they resist sin or not throughout their entire lives.

    So, if I, as a believer, lie to everyone, it is ultimately due to my fleshly nature and God's unwillingness to grant me the grace by which I could resist telling such a fib?

    Is this a correct assessment?
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    I will answer a question by asking a question. Could God instantly sanctify us so that we do not sin at all? Is His grace sufficient to do so? Won't He do so in the future? So, it boils down that He does not do so, simply because of His own choice not to do so at this time. Is he therefore the author of our sins because He sovereingly chooses not to give us sufficient grace to prevent us now from sinning as He will do so later in glorification and in the new world to come?????

    Second, does he give some a greater measure of grace and faith than others? Is the difference between men like Daniel versus Solomon or Job versus his friends or Paul versus Ananias due to themselves or to God's measure of grace?

    1 Cor. 4:7 ΒΆ For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

    Why do some saints have greater understanding of scriptures than others? Is it due to their own abilities and hard work or does God give understanding to some that he does not to others and how does this understanding practically effect their lives and spiritual growth??? Is "spiritual" growth the product of man or due to man's diligence, brain capacity, education, etc? What about the unlettered fisherman that could stand before a council of doctor's in theology and the ThD.'s took note these fisherman had been with Jesus?

    Why is it that some Christians can see certain truths but no matter how much it is explained to another Christian they cannot grasp it, which if they could grasp, would make a significant impact on their lives and service for God?

    Can God be blamed for not giving the grace necessary to avoid sin altogether as in glorification grace simply because He does not choose to do so right now? Can He be blamed for the sins of His people because He chooses to "progressively" sanctify some at one rate of growth and another at a completely different rate of growth. Is truth REVEALED or merely intellectually obtained and absorbed?
     
    #2 The Biblicist, Dec 16, 2013
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  3. Skandelon

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    And you couldn't simply confirm or deny that my assessment was fair and accurate? Why not?

    Could God make us unable to choose sinful actions? Sure. But both of us confirm that we, as believers, still sin, so we are discussing the reasons for that, remember?

    Did I say he was the author of sin? I simply asked you to confirm that the reason you believe that you still sin is due to God's lack of provision for you to yield.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    You edited some things...

    "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"

    Should that read, "Well done me, I effectually caused you by my grace to be faithful with a few things..." ???

    It's called 'responsibility.'

    Responsibility. I certainly wouldn't blame God for not making it clear enough for them though.

    Not in my system, but apparently in your system he can be...
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    You forget that the elders take off their crowns and cast them at the feet of the King confessing that even their rewards were not due to themselves but to the grace of God.

    However, your post clearly denies that grace makes the distinction but rather rewards and sanctification progress is PRIMARILY due to men not God. God is merely a bystander in your scheme who is available to help those who are able to respond (response-able) on their own accord. However Paul says, "I am what I am by my responsiblity"??????? Ooops!
     
  6. Skandelon

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    Well of course it due to the grace of God, but AGAIN (for the millionth time) since when does a gracious gift have to be effectually applied for the giver to receive all the credit for giving it?

    Should God not also receive for glory for the grace he gave that was resisted and squandered? Isn't the truth that men chose to trade in for lies still TRUTH FROM GOD!? Why not give God glory even for the truth and grace resisted by man? And thusly give MANKIND FULL blame for their resisting of it!

    And I suppose I could argue God is merely a bystander in your scheme watching as His predetermined puppet play unfolds?

    Grace enables, so of course Paul would say that he is what he is by grace. Jesus said, "Humble yourselves so that you will be exalted." Ooops!

    Paul said, "Cleanse yourselves" to be used by the potter for noble purposes. Ooops!

    Ezk says to 'rid yourselves of uncleanliness to receive a new heart.' Ooops!

    Paul said, "Those who turn to Christ will have the veil removed." Oooops!

    John said, "Believe that you may have life." Oooops!
     
    #6 Skandelon, Dec 16, 2013
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  7. The Biblicist

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    Here is the first abuse of my position. You assign the cause of sin to God whereas I assign it to me not God. God has no obligation to provide sufficient grace to live sinless any more than sufficient grace to avoid any particular sin and that is YOUR PROBLEM becuase your argument or the way you present it cannot demand one any more than the other and God can if He chose provide sufficient grace to instantly sanctify me BUT HE SOVEREIGNLY CHOOSES NOT TO and by your rationalization that would make God the cause of all my sins.

    Progressive sanctification is namely that - progressive - and so are such certain to fall back into sin? Yes! Would they fall back into sin if they were given sufficient grace to be perfectly sanctified? No! Who determines the amount of grace for both? You or God?

    Your line of rationalization demands EQUAL GRACE to all thus any difference in SPIRITUAL growth solely due to human ability (response -ability) both "TO WILL" and "TO DO" of God's good pleasure - thus making man the INITIAL enabler or god of His own growth destiny. Thus, "I am what I am by my own responsiblity"
     
  8. Skandelon

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    I'm talking about you inability to resist sin and yield to God. You are unable because (1) God decided that would be the consequence of the fallen condition, and (2) because God decided not to grant you enough grace to overcome that condition when tempted in every instance. Your inabilities may be the consequence of Adam's choice to sin (as our representative), but that doesn't change the FACT that God is the one who set these consequences or punishments as they are...unless that is the one thing in your system God isn't sovereignly controlling?
     
  9. The Biblicist

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    Your whole twist upon my position can be easily exposed by answering three simple questions.

    1. Who determined that sanctification would be progressive and not instanteous ?

    2. Is God's grace sufficient for instant sanctification and if so, who chose to provide insufficient grace in progressive sanctification that allows sin?

    3. Is God responsible for the sins in progressive sanctification IF he could supply grace for instanteous sanctification?
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Perhaps that's the Calvinists idea of predestination but not the Old School Baptists beliefs.
     
  11. Skandelon

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    What twist? Be specific. Were in the OP did I twist your views? I simply stated them in a clear concise manner. Why won't you either affirm or deny them and quote the line you deny and tell us why?
     
  12. Skandelon

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    Also, do you want me to answer those three question as non-calvinist or as I think a calvinist would answer them? I ask because we are not talking about my perspective, but the perspective of a Calvinist in this thread.
     
  13. The Biblicist

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    The cause or effect? Which? Does man respond due to the cause of grace or is grace the effect of man's response? Which? Paul placed grace in the causal position when he said 'I am what I am by the grace of God" rather than "I am what I am by being responsible." If it is in the causal position then the crowns should be thrown down at His feet as the CAUSE of ability to please God as it really is God who worked in them "BOTH to will AND to do of God's good pleasure."

    However, if RESPONSE - ABILITY is the true causal factor and grace the consequence then 'I am what I am causually by response -ability" and it is my "response -ABILITY" that worketh in me both to will and to do of God's good pleasure."

    Which is it? Rationally both cannot be cause and both cannot be consequence.

    "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess....."

    Now that is true determinism or fatalism! But that is not our system at all!!!! When God is the Predetermining agent within a system who is response-ably working "ALL THINGS according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:11; Isa. 46:9-10) and not allowing anything that will foil His purpose (Psa. 76:10) that is anything but fatalism but simply a Sovereign God accomplishing all that He purposed.

    "UNDER THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD" oops!

    All your arguments above are based upon the denial that God can obligate and justly condemn for what man cannot do. The very same kind of commands are found in regard to the law. God obligated and justly condemned all mankind for what they could not do. You reject this principle and yet it is a clear undenialbe Biblical principle which if you admitted would destroy the underlying basis for your arguments above. The saved man has no more inherent ability to obey God than the lost man IN HIMSELF (the flesh) and yet God obligates and justly condemns him for what he cannot do. Just as in the lost man, the same obligation drives him away from self to God's grace as the only hope to please God.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    If you are offered a job by a friend and later that same friend promotes you 'up the latter' because you are faithful in your work and at the end of your career in an award speech you say something like, "I'd like to thank my boss and my friend for his kindness because I wouldn't be here without him," or even as far to say, "I'd be no where without him...," are you really meaning you didn't have any responsibility in it, or are you simply acknowledge the provision of your friend that enabled you to attain your success?

    My point is not to make a perfect one to one comparison between a friend and God, so don't nitpick this to death. My point is to suggest that Paul's intent may be much more simple than you are suggesting. He may simply be acknowledging the provision of God's enabling grace, rather than the effectuality of his irresistible grace. We have to SPECULATE as to the intent and look to other texts which reveal more on the subject.

    Curious...are you arguing for universalism? I known a few Calvinistic types that end up going there, so just checking.


    Oh good, then you caught the parallel fallacy of your accusation of our system?
    As if free agency cannot exist under that same Hand?

    Actually it based on what I believe God REVEALS in scripture about how He does condemn man for Responding...as responsible creatures. Again, I'll point you to my commentary on John 12 where Christ clearly teaches that he didn't come to condemn the world, but that the very words that he speaks will condemn them. And I'll point you to the commentary on Heb. 3 where it clearly teaches that the people of God don't enter the Promised Land on account of their unbelief. And Paul's teaching that men perish because they refuse to accept the truth and so be saved. And Jesus teaching that condemnation is reserved for those who continue in their unbelief.


    We disagree on this point because you wrongly assert the Calvinistic belief of Total inability into the mix by PRESUMING mankind cannot believe. If man CAN BELIEVE as RESPONSIBLE creatures when God reveals his truth, then you cannot assert that God has condemned man for what they cannot do. It's ONLY if you assert that man cannot believe that you can make your case, because ultimately unbelief is ALL that condemns a man to hell. (again, see my signature line for further explanation)
     
  15. The Biblicist

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    The basic flaw is the difference between change of position that involed equal cooperation and change of condition that required creative power. My position is that the condition of the lost man is of such a nature that it is impossible for it to be cooperative without being changed into the very opposite of what it "is" by nature.

    I am arguing for universal acknowledgment that Jesus is Lord even by Satan and his dominions angelic and human in spite of their hatred. They are forced to bow their knee.


    lol, only in your dreams.

    Not an issue of free agency but of ability. In Romans 7:18 there is willingness but not ability.



    We must slow down and treat this carefully and thoroughly because here is the real crux of the issue that divides us. Your rational here jumps ahead to a preconcieved response that fails to understand the actual mechanics at work in what you are jumping over. Follow me closely now:

    1. God obligates fallen men to keep the law - meaning without violation of one point.

    2. God justly condemns fallen men for "coming short" of that standard of keeping His law.

    3. No fallen an has ABILITY to keep that obligation according to that standard as "all have.....come short" and "NONE....NOT ONE..." does "good" by that standard or IS "righteous by that standard."

    So, there IS no ability to fulfill this command and yet they are condemned justly for coming short of that obligation. Your arguement of "response - ability" demands there IS ABILITY or God could not obligate fallen man to do this when the facts deny they have such ability.

    If this is true in regard to obligation to obey God's revealed will - the Law then how can you argue it is not true to obey God's revealed will - repent and believe in the gospel????? Remember, the very exact language of obligation, even langauge that may be interpreted to be God's desire for them to obey is used in regard to His law as it is to the gospel. Hence, you cannot base your argument on the nature of the language.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    I understand that. You believe the man's nature must be changed irresistibly for him to respond....and apparently even after having a change of nature he still need a certain 'measure of grace' to yield himself from temptation. I believe this view undermines human responsibility and the passages (as presented before) which teach how men are to respond.

    And how does that relate to the point that was being made?

    Oh, good, you are recognizing my "jokes" now. :) Banter is more fun this way.

    Well I suppose that all depends on how one defines 'free' now doesn't it?

    Agreed...but can I ask a vital question regarding this 'obligation' of God? Why did God obligate men to keep the law? What was it's purpose?

    Was His purpose in obligating them to follow the law to grant them the ability to attain righteousness and avoid condemnation? Yes or no?

    Was His purpose in sending the gracious gospel appeal of reconciliation through faith in the atoning work of his Son in order to grant the ability to attain righteousness and avoid condemnation? Yes or No?

    See my point?

    He could, but I don't believe he does. Instead, He graciously overlooks sins previously committed, sends his Son as an atoning sacrifice for sin and saves whosoever believes. As Jesus states in John 12, he didn't come to condemn the world for sin, but his very words are what will condemn men if they 'trade the truth in for lies' and 'refuse to accept the truth so as to be saved.'

    Correct, but its not by that obligation man stands condemned. They stand condemned for unbelief. Remember the purpose of that obligation? IT was never given for the purpose of avoiding condemnation or to attain righteousness, so how could it ever fail to meet that purpose? How does something fail to meet the purpose for which it was never sent?
    PURPOSE.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Biblicist,

    Look at it this way:

    Bad news: You can't keep the law, you have fallen short, no matter how good and moral you are it is not enough. You deserve death and hell. You cannot, even if you wanted to, attain righteousness by works of the law.

    Good news: Christ kept the law for you, trust in him and you will be saved. Though you cannot attain righteousness by works, you can through faith.

    "...the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works."

    Your bad news:You can't keep the law, you have fallen short, no matter how good and moral you are it is not enough. You deserve death and hell. You cannot, even if you wanted to, attain righteousness by works of the law.

    Your good news: Because of the bad news above you also are unable to trust in Christ, who fulfilled the law because he actually only fulfilled it for a preselected few. Those chosen will be saved irresistibly.
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    "Why" has nothing to do with this at all. The fact is WHAT He demands and WHAT they were able not to do and WHAT God did in response. The facts are clear and undeniable:

    1. He did in fact obligate fallen man to keep the law in the definitive sense of James 2:10-11.

    2. He did in fact condemn them for coming short

    3. He did in fact know that no fallen man had ability to do this and clearly states so - Rom. 3:9-12

    Now, if you want to ask "WHY" then you need to address "WHY" He could do what He actually did above. That is the quandry of your system that it cannot provide any JUST basis for.

    Only my system can provide a JUST basis for what He actually DID. My system interprets Romans 5:12-19 to mean that all humanity existed and consisted in the unfallen human nature that acted in unison in ONE MAN in an UNFALLEN STATE OF SINLESS ABILITY to sin, by which they fell willingly into a FALLEN STATE OF TOTAL INABILITY. This is why God DID obligate FALLEN man to do what he could not do and justly condemn him.
     
  19. Skandelon

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    Ok, then change the question to "What purpose did God obligate them to keep the law?" Because if you cannot agree with me that the purpose of doing something is as vital as the something being done then we might as well end this discussion now.

    Indeed.

    WHAT he demands is that they keep to law in order to reveal that they are unable to attain righteousness through works and they are going to need help outside themselves (a gracious savior).

    WHAT they were not able to do is attain righteousness through the works of the law.

    WHAT God does in response is sends his Son because he loves mankind, to provide a means THAT IS ATTAINABLE, the means to attain righteousness through faith.

    WHAT your are doing is convoluting man's inability to attain righteousness by law through works with your UNFOUNDED PRESUMPTIONS that men are equally unable to attain righteousness by grace through faith.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Walter,

    Listen, bro, I understand your argument. You don't have to keep restating it. I just disagree.

    You believe that God demanded perfection, which is clearly unattainable, and that somehow proves that God has and will demand that which unattainable, but the fault in that logic is that it ignores God's provision for us to attain perfection through faith. It ignores HIS PURPOSES in the process.

    I know you 'LOVE' my analogies, but please indulge me for a second. Suppose you were a professor who demanded 100% to pass your very demanding course and no one, not even the smartest most diligent student could attain that grade regardless of how hard they worked.

    Now, that would be tough luck for your students, but it is what it is and they are in the class and have to live by YOUR standards. Now, in this scenario it would be perfectly justified for the students to conclude something like, "This is impossible. No one can possibly pass this guys course. No one is able to do this!" ???

    Sure. That would probably be a fair assessment of your course. Now, suppose that secretly your purpose in making that standard was to teach your students a lesson in grace, and in reality you would pass any and every student who humbly asked you for help REGARDLESS OF THEIR ACTUAL SCORE. Any student who just tried on their own and worked their butts off failed, but any student who humbly admitted their shortcomings and asked you for help, you decided beforehand you would pass.

    Now, in this situation, would you presume that because a student was unable to pass your course through hard independent laborious effort, that he would be equally unable to seek your help?

    Do you see my perspective on this? I'm not asking for agreement. I know we disagree. I'm just wanting to know that you understand it.
     
    #20 Skandelon, Dec 16, 2013
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