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Do people “choose to believe”?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by atpollard, Dec 31, 2021.

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  1. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    On a too long thread now closed:

    robycop3 said


    RipponRedeaux responded:


    That is a GOOD question for a discussion.

    Do people “choose to believe”?
    All people?
    Some people?
    Only after God gives them the gift of ‘belief’?


    What do y’all think?


    :) … and for those playing along on the HOME EDITION of our game:

    [Philippians 1:29 NKJV] 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

    [Acts of the Apostles 13:48 NKJV] 48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

    [Acts of the Apostles 16:14 NKJV] 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard [us]. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

    [Acts of the Apostles 18:27 NKJV] 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
     
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  2. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Note that here robycop3 is teaching salvation by legal merit.
    First the person must choose from a pantheon of gods.
    Second the person must willfully show that they believe.
    Third, the person must continue to believe without waivering in order to keep abiding.

    Therefore, if people choose to believe, then salvation is not by God's grace. Instead, salvation is by human choice and merited works in continually abiding.
     
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  3. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I have to assume that you see this idea of salvation being granted as some sort of support for the reformed idea of effectual election.

    I am rather puzzled at this claim as it is clear from scripture that “whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” Romans 10:13

    The granting comes from the responding to the free offer of salvation which is a gift Romans 6:23

    Gifts are offered and then rejected or received but never imposed by the forceful changing of the will.

    The granting comes after the biblical response on our part has been made.

    Getting to the crux of the matter here I assume the implication by reformed folks is that use of this “proof text” is intended to prove that salvation is appointed only to specific individuals in which He pre-selects to salvation.

    such an imposition is a perversion of not inly the gospel itself but to the integrity of this passage of scripture. This assault on scripture, however well meaning, ignores context in order to propagate this errant version of doctrine

    The context being that they were dealing with the now inclusion of gentiles in the direct reception of the gospel. This appointment is in that context not individually.



    The Lord opens up everyones heart through His word Romans 10:17


    [Acts of the Apostles 18:27 NKJV] 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;[/QUOTE]

    The grace is completed on the cross by paying the price for our sin. It is a perversion of the gospel to impose the errant view that grace is the imposed will on a few preselected.
     
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  5. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

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    There is no such doctrine among the Reformed of 'effectual election.' Where in the world did you get that idea? Maybe from an Arminian source?

    There is indeed 'effectual calling' which is sometimes called 'Irresistible Grace.' But it doesn't mean that God saves us against our wills. Phil. 2:13 says that "it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." The Lord draws us to himself.

    The Westminster Shorter Catechism describes it as :
    Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to us in the Gospel.

    In 2 Tim. 1:9 it says that This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
     
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  6. Mike McKinney

    Mike McKinney Member

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    The unregenerate cannot believe on their own. If a man believes and has saving faith, it's only because the Holy Spirit has regenerated him and given it to him.
     
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  7. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    you can call it what you want but you know what i mean and are just trying to be difficult. Its why i usually avoid these debates on the bb anymore its just not an honest point.

    and yes reformed doctrine holds to the idea that God imposes a certain will on people. Changing the will is imposing cant get around that
     
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  8. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

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    Calling and Election are in different categories. But they are linked as well. You know the passage that says "Make every effort to confirm your calling and election." (2 Peter. 1:10) If you are careless with the meaning of words; it shows up in your theology. For instance, Adoption and Sanctification are not the same thing. You can't get away with "Well, you know what I mean." Clarity of mind is necessary when discussing these matters. Even if you think you disagree with a particular Calvinistic doctrine --make sure you are on the same page --discussing the same doctrine.

    Election, which is done by God before the foundation of the world is not Calling which occurs during the lifetime of the believer.

    Is Drawing in John 6 God imposing on people? I don't know what you mean by "a certain will on people." I thank the Lord for his intervention in my life by saving me. It certainly wasn't an imposition by the Holy Spirit. The Lord softens hearts that were stony and makes them hearts of flesh. After all, we were enemies of God --hostile toward him with our darkened minds. When he changed us we were transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. In that transaction we became transformed --renewed by the Holy Spirit. All things became new.
     
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  9. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I just posting the verses that others referenced in the quoted post so someone reading the post could read the referenced verse even if they did not have a bible handy.

    As for the verse itself:

    [Philippians 1:29 NKJV] 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

    I “see” that “to believe in Him” is something that “has been granted”.

    According to that verse … Has it been granted to believe in Him?

    A simple yes or no question.
    If so, then a thinking man might ask: To whom? By whom?
    Those are questions worth pondering, I think.
     
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  10. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. There is no context of God saving PEOPLES collectively (like Gentiles) without acting individually. The Exodus “saved” a collective people out of Egypt only to winnow the wheat from the chaff in the desert for 40 years and deliver chosen individuals (Joshua, Caleb, Moses) to the Promised Land. The Bible is a story of “not all Israel is Israel” and “I have reserved for Myself”.

    The “as many as as were appointed” Gentiles were no less individuals than the chosen apostles … Jesus knows His sheep.
     
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  11. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

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    Moses was able to view the Promised Land from the top of a mountain, but he was not allowed by the Lord to physically enter the Land.
     
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  12. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, but some of the people had also settled on that side of the river as well (I forget which tribes) so Moses made it to the land occupied by the People of God (if not to the Holy Mountain promised to Abraham).

    My main point being that Moses did not die in the 40 years in the desert (like the many).
     
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  13. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think it depends on how we define belief.

    Paul explains that those who have not heard the Word are guilty because what God has made k own of Him through Creation (to include the Godhead) is exchanged for a lie. What has been manifested as being true (is made known to man...not a choice) has been exchanged (by choice).
     
  14. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    nope you fo not get to determine the way in which inor anyone else answers. You may want it to be a yes or no andwer but in my experience on this board calvies di that as a debate tactic it lacks integrity
     
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  15. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    The 'Exodus motif' - house of bondage, blood of the lamb, exodus, gospel call to take the land of milk & honey, unbelief by most, wandering in the wilderness for forty years.... Moses and Aaron both were refused entrance into the promised land because of unbelief - Numbers 20:12.

    11 As I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.
    12 Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: Heb 3

    Joshua and Caleb believed the gospel of possessing the land and were granted entrance, with their families.
     
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  16. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

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    Whew! Your non-answer is something to behold. There is value in being straightforward. You are not in the least straightforward here. The simple Bible-believing answer is "Yes, it has been granted to believe on him --that is Christ." The Lord has given or gifted the elect to believe on Christ. It is just as much a scriptural fact as that the Lord has granted his chosen ones --believers, to suffer for the sake of Christ. To believe on Christ and to suffer for his sake are equally tied together as properties that are granted to the elect. You can't have one without the other.
     
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  17. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    my point is proven
     
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  18. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

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    LOL!! Your non-answer somehow proved conclusively that you are not able to answer straightforward biblical questions. Or, to do so demolishes your theology.

    Let me ask this question : Has it been granted --given --gifted for Christians to suffer for Christ? Yes or no?
     
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  19. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the accusation, but the fact remains that however you answer it (which is your right) it WAS a simple yes or no question. Philippians 1:29 either affirms what I claimed or it does not.

    How you chose to answer demonstrates both your “free will” and its’ bondage to your “fallen nature”.

    That is what convinces “monergists” that God must choose men rather than fallen men choosing God. (You could not even choose to answer a question without yielding to the old man.)
     
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  20. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    From my experience when I believed on Christ, I never had to choose between believing and not believing...
    When I heard the word of God, I simply knew it was true;
    No choice or "pause" was presented to me, because I automatically knew the truth of it.

    Also, based on the Scriptures, I see nowhere in the Bible that God's children are ever faced with a " should I or shouldn't I?" choice.

    According to John 8:43-47, for example, people either believe God's words, or they do not...
    And they do so because they are either "of God" or they are not.
    To me, those are some of the reasons why people believe, and why they do not.
    I would also submit John 6:22-65 for examination.

    Either their hearts have been opened to receive God's word and to understand them ( Acts of the Apostles 16:14 ), or they are in a state of rejection and misunderstanding of them.

    God's people believe God's words ( John 8:43-47 ).
    Those who are not His elect, will never truly believe His every word, nor will they ever genuinely grow in their understanding of it for themselves...
    They will never be led into all truth, and they will never grow spiritually to hate this world and its ways.

    Equally true is the fact that those that are saved will see the preaching of the cross as the power of God, while those that are perishing will see it as foolishness ( 1 Corinthians 1:18 ).
     
    #20 Dave G, Jan 1, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
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