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Did Christ die for everyone or just for the elect?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ron Arndt, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Brutus

    Brutus Member
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    Faith Alone: First of all I never said that I was reformed. When I speak of man having no free will I'm not saying man's will is not self-determined, because it is. It is not because of some outside coercion that the will is not free, because the will is not coerced. I do not believe that. The Scripture simply says that the will is evil by a corruption of nature, and only becomes good by the grace of the Holy Spirit. It isn't because of natural strength that we believe. And we cannot, in our unregenerate state, convert ourselves. By our own works or efforts apart from the Holy Spirit, we can't accomplish this, because Jesus said that " apart from me you can do nothing." According to 1 Cor.12:3, "No one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. And the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, for they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor.2:14 says that they are foolishness to the natural man and he acts only as he is acted upon in accordance to the measure of grace he has received.

    Some time ago I read transcripts of a radio interview in which the gentleman being interviewed said that God did not create us as robots, and that is correct. He went on to say that God gave us free choice between good and evil. I believe that is right when it is applied to Adam, for his will was not yet corrupted before the fall, but then he said that our will is free just like Adam's. I must disagree with that. Our will, you see, is corrupted and in bondage until Christ sets us free.

    The Biblical definition of "free will" is the power to freely choose or self-determine what we most prefer or desire according to our nature, our affections and predispositions. The natural man, who is by nature hostile towards God, loves sin, and apart from the grace of regeneration will not seek God on God's terms, 1Cor.2:14; Rom.8:7. Natural man will invariably use his "free will" to flee from and supress the truth of God, Rom.1:18. Those that the Spirit has quickened on the other hand are granted a renewed disposition which has new understanding, new desires and holy affections for God. Thus our natural hostility to God,Jn.3:19-20, is disarmed and we freely exercise our will to trust in Jesus Christ who now holds our supreme affection over all other idols.

    Scripture gives clear witness to the concept that our nature drives the kind of choices we make: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe... and He was saying, for this reason I have said to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

    Notice the phrase "come to me" it's a synonym for "faith" or "believe" so no one can believe unless God grants it and Jn.6:37 says "all that the Father gives me will come to me" so we have a syllogism which says none will believe unless God grants it but all to whom God grants it will believe.
     
  2. Salamander

    Salamander New Member

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    Since Ephesians 1:4 states that we are chosen "in Him",and if election is true as the Calvinist believes, then why in Colossians 2:9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.


    Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power, did we need to made complete when we were already "in Him"????
     
  3. John I Morris

    John I Morris Member

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    If a person were to believe that God pre selected some for hell, that is that persons opinion. God is no less God because He allows one the choice of salvation. God fore knew what our choice woudl be and therefore predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ. To believe one has absolutely no choice in the matter is a bit extreme. Does that mean that we do not choose to sin, but God pre determined that we would, if that is the case how can we be judge for doing something that we had no choice in doing, matter of fact, God made us to commit that sin "for He pre determined we would do it."
    I'll stay where I am in the Theological world, but listening to you all provokes me to dig deeper, thanks!
     
  4. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    This is the old nature being discussed to believers in knowing the "things of God" in the proper context.
     
  5. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller Active Member
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    This is the old nature being discussed to believers in knowing the "things of God" in the proper context. </font>[/QUOTE]So explain it to us Webdog?
     
  6. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

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    Hi Brutus,

    And I neither said nor implied that I thought you were Reformed. [​IMG]

    I do not use the term "free will" because it is sometimes inferred that said person can operate outside the restraints of God's sovereignty. I prefer "free agency." I too say that man is the self-determiner of his destiny. Yet I also affirm that God is fully sovereign. Both can be and are true.

    The will is "evil" or deceived - yes. But it is not totally evil such that it cannot do good. IOW, cannot a mother save her child, and love him, who does not know the Lord?

    Gotta disagree with the use of this verse, Brutus, if I read you correctly. This is not saying that unless God enables someone he cannot trust Christ. We are not saved by confessing anything or saying anything. We gain eternal life by simply believing.

    Now, this verse says that if someone says that Jesus is cursed, then it is not possible that this came about through the working of the Spirit in his life. Similarly, no one can genuinely say that Jesus is Lord unless this was a result of the working of the Spirit in his life. IOW... we cannot attach negative works with the Holy Spirit. remember that chapter 12 is all about the gifts of the Spirit and their use in the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:3 is not talking about someone who does not know Christ, but about the way the Spirit works in the lives of believers - members of the body of Christ. So it doesn't apply to how we come to Christ at all.

    I agree.

    This text shows that the natural man can do things, some of which their consciences will not accuse them about.

    I do not agree with what you said that I put in bold above. He need not invariably use his free will to escape the truth, etc. In Romans 2 I showed that the natural man can choose to do good.

    The natural man will not believe the gospel without the work of the Spirit in his life. The issue is not that he cannot do any good at all, but that he thinks that he can do good... that he doesn't need saving...

    The natural man may respond to the urging of the Spirit and the illumination provided to seek more truth. But he cannot come to believe the gospel unless the Spirit is at work, drawing him to the Son. (But this is not "re-generation" nor is it being "quickened" (Greek - "made alive" - same as re-generation") and "granted a renewed disposition." Essentially you are saying that a person cannot trust in Christ unless he is re-born first. That is essentially Calvinism ordo salutis (order of salvation) - though you may not hold to all of the Reformed doctrines. I too hold to some similar views of soteriology, but the ordo salutis is different.

    I agree. Though the natural man can make good choices. (Though one could argue that even all of his/her choices are tainted with the world, and I would agree with that.

    Brutus, what I think you're trying to argue for is that no natural man can come to Christ on his own efforts... without the work of the Spirit. I agree fully with that. The areas where we disagree are not there.

    I do not believe that it is simply a choice for the natural man - that God must be and is involved. But God does hold man responsible for the choices he makes in this area. Why? Because the natural man can respond to the drawing of the Spirit and seek more truth. He does not need to be re-born before he can do that. That's why I said earlier it comes down to a different view of total depravity between myself and Calvinists.

    The Bible assumes that the natural man CAN respond to the work of the Spirit... because he can. That's why God holds him responsible for his "choices." It is not a "choice" to believe, but a choice to seek truth, which can eventually lead to faith.


    Brutus,

    You may not consider yourself Reformed, but the arguments you make and your soteriology seem to be very Reformed to me, FWIW.

    I agree about the synonym. I also agree that unless God grants it we will not believe. But I do have a slight problem with what I put in bold above. I'll change "come to me" to "believe" for your benefit, though "come to Me" may represent the earlierresponses to the urging of the Spirit before the person believes, IMO, but I won't fight that:

    all that the Father gives me (Jesus) will believe.

    You then concluded:

    none will believe unless God grants it but all to whom God grants it will believe.

    OK, we have to be careful about the logic here. The only thing we can conclude from the 1st statement is the contrapositive:

    If someone does not believe then the Father did not givethat one to Jesus.

    It is this with which I take issue, FYI:
    ...all to whom God grants it will believe.

    Where does it say that?
    In John 6:65 Jesus said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father." Andsince in vs. 64 Jesus referrs to some who did not believe, I do accept your tie in with "come to Me" and "believe in Me."

    IMO God will grant some, many, illumination. Some will respoond seeking more truth, while some, like the sanhedrin, will resist it. They will not see with the clarity of the once-blind man who said that Jesus could do nothing if he were not from God. The blind-man did not understand that Jesus was the Messiah at that point yet, but he was receptive to the working of God. When Jesus came to him later, after they cast him out of the synagogue, and asked him if he believed in the Son of Man he responded, "Well who is he, that I may believe."

    Jesus responded that "you have both seen him and he's talking to you now." The former blind-man's response? "Lord I believe," and he worshipped Him.

    I'm not sure how much we disagree here... not much. But FYI when I read your first post my assumption was that you were just investigating this... I did not assume that you were Reformed. But now... you'll have to show me where you do not hold to Reformed theologies, FWIW. :D

    FA
     
  7. Brutus

    Brutus Member
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    FA: All I can tell you is that I grew up with a knowledge of who God was, and is, and fully understood what Christ had achieved at Calvary, yet it didn't mean one blessed thing to me. That is until much later. I sat under the preaching of some very good pastors and teachers,those who were very fundamental in their doctrinal beliefs yet there was never even an inkling to respond to any invitation. I new what was right and what was wrong and I never had to make a choice to do what was wrong, it just came naturally to me just as breathing does. I had absolutely no desire whatsoever to seek the things of God. Then one evening my wife was having Bible study with our children's bus captain and she asked me if I would be willing to sit down and listen to a record (Iknow, this really dates me) of an evangelist and I promised her that I would indeed give it a listen,but I didn't say when. Well, after about three weeks I finally decided to do it, I waited until my wife and the kids had all gone to bed and I sat down and rolled myself a big fat joint and drank a couple of beers while I smoked the joint and then I put the record on , put my headphones on and began to listen to the preacher. Well, you probably think that I was pretty high and you would be right. But as soon as I settled in and got serious about listening, God took away the high and I was as straight as I am right this very moment. As I listened to the Word of God being preached I began to realize that I was being drawn by the Spirit of God and there was no way to refuse or reject, if you will, the wooing of the Spirit. Even if I had desired to turn away it would have been impossible to do so because the Spirit was steadily drawing me in. And because of the Spirit's drawing there was no desire to turn away! Thus , I believe that this is what regeneration is about and it happens simultainious to that very act of by faith believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, there was absolutely nothing within me that wanted anything to do with Christ up until that very moment that the Spirit of God began to draw me in, that is when as Ez. 36:26 says, God gave me a new heart and a new spirit and removed the heart of stone from me and gave me a heart of flesh.

    Brutus
     
  8. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller Active Member
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    Brutus,

    You're on solid ground here among Baptists.

    B. H. Carroll (founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas): "The true scriptural position [concerning regeneration] is this: There is, first of all, a direct influence of the Holy Spirit on the passive spirit of the sinner, quickening him or making him sensitive to the preaching of the Word. In this the sinner is passive. But he is not a subject of the new birth without contrition, repentance and faith. In exercising these he is active. Yet even his contrition is but a response to the Spirit's conviction, and the exercise of his repentance is but a response to the Spirit's conviction, and the exercise of his repentance and faith are but responses to the antecedent spiritual graces of repentance and faith." Carroll goes on to state that "repentance and faith are fruits of regeneration" (An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 4, p. 287).

    W. T. Conner (professor of Systematic Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) for many years said it this way: "This change [i.e., regeneration] is one that is wrought in the moral nature of man by the Spirit of God. Nothing but divine power could produce the change. . . . God's power works this change. . . . The man who experiences regeneration knows as well as he knows daylight from darkness that he himself did not work the change." (The Gospel of Redemption, p. 189)
     
  9. Brutus

    Brutus Member
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    Hardsheller: Thanks. W.T.Conner is right, I certainly did not work any change in myself. The great thing about it is that once the Spirit of God began to draw me, there was no turning back. I know that there are those who will dicount what I say but, I could not have spurned or rejected the drawing of the Spirit even if I had wanted to!!!!
    During our men's prayer mtg. one Sat. morning I was interupted by a staff menber who insisted that my testimony was giving creedence to irresistable grace. Can't help that, that is exactly the way it was!!! And I'm an eye witness! So if that makes me reformed or Calvinistic then I guess that is a label that I'm willing to live with.

    Brutus
     
  10. Brutus

    Brutus Member
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    Webdog: I see that you have not answered Hardsheller as of yet. I anxiously await your respone.

    Brutus
     
  11. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller Active Member
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    I agree with you 100%. I could not have said no when I said yes.

    It seems to me if we say we could have refused to believe when we did believe then we are arguing from a position of NON-Experience. Much better I think just to testify of what happened to us.

    Some will say but I did refuse many times before I finally believed. My response to that is simply then why didn't you refuse when you finally believed?

    I think every true Believer's experience is the same at this point, regardless of whether they claim to be a calvinist or an arminian or none of the above.
     
  12. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    Hardsheller, Brutus, I have not been on the computer until now.

    The greek for "natural man" is Ψυχικος, which means "animal man", one who lives in a mere state of nature decided by his passsions. The greek word ψυχη which the above is derived from means "soul".
    This "natural man" (Ψυχικος), is opposed to "spiritual man" (πνευματικος). The spiritual man is under the influence of God, while the "natural man" is under the influence of his old nature. The person in question can be one who has had no spiritual teaching, or one who has not profited by it by living for the present things of the world, having no respect for spiritual things.
    Paul spoke to these "animal men" about the things of God (1 Corinthians 3:1, 9:11) and considered them "brothers". The context, then, of chapter 2 is Paul addressing believers.
    The "animal man", receives not the things of the Spirit - neither apprehends nor comprehends them. Therefore these spiritual things are foolishness to him, since while he is in his "animal" state he cannot understand them - the exact opposite of a believer whose relationship with the Lord is healthy and intact.
     
  13. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman New Member

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    Great Post FA. YOu are using the definition of the words and terms as the Bible uses them. That is were the conflict lies between calvnist and other christians. We must no let calvinist define words or terms that do not line up with the Bible. Again great post, knock down a few falicies presented by calvnist.
     
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