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Featured Does Paul's conversion prove Calvinism's teaching on Irresistible Grace?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Jun 1, 2014.

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  1. Winman

    Winman Active Member

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    If Limited Atonement is true, then you do not know if Jesus loved you and died for you, in fact, there is a very high probability he didn't.

    You can insist all day long you know Jesus died for you, but if your doctrine is true that is absolutely impossible to know.

    Good luck.
     
  2. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Bump.........

     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    How long are you going to hang onto that kick of yours?

    Salvation is not a matter of percentages,probabilities,chances,and stats.

    There are many Arminians/Semi-Pelagians who harbor false hope because they feel covered thinking God loves them and Christ died for them --en mass with every other human -one gigantic, amorphous blob. They feel safe because of their coverage which includes Hitler, Mao, the False Prophet and the Beast. What delightful company!
     
  4. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Greetings brother and sisters of the Calvinistic persuasion. This is an expanded version of an unanswered post I presented earlier in this thread.

    I have a question for you, Calvinism theology dictates that there is what they call an "irresistible grace" which is part of their TULIP doctrine. Non-Calvinist teach there is an "invitation of grace" and as the Holy Spirit convicts as the Father draws, one is responsible to make a decision between life and death, having this invitation set before one is an offer of salvation, one can take it or leave it, one's freewill choice. The Spirit must draw and convict, but the person is only enlightened to make a decision, not regenerated to automatically believe.

    Calvinism's "I" teaches man has no choice and is offered no choice. Man is "irresistibly" drawn unto salvation through regeneration, if one is drawn to believe, then one is automatically caused to believe by the Holy Spirit regeneration and there is no freewill choice to be made in the person's salvation.

    My question is, why didn't God apply this "Irresistible" Grace process with Thomas? Does Calvinism allow for exceptions to their doctrines?

    John20:25 - "The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."

    The Invitation - "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing."

    The Confession - "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."

    The Reason Jesus gives for Thomas' Faith - "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

    Thomas insisted he had to see Jesus and then Thomas would make a decision to believe. Jesus gives us Thomas' reason for his belief, Jesus says it is because he has seen.

    Paul is another example. Paul heard the gospel message many times, in fact Paul hated the gospel message! Where was Paul's "irresistible" grace? It took a blinding visit from Jesus Christ Himself on the road to Damascus in order for Paul to submit to Jesus' Lordship.

    Point being, either there are exceptions to TULIP's "I" or the doctrine is unbiblical, and if it is unbiblical then the "TUL" falls with it. Only the "P" biblically survives. I have discussed "Irresistible Grace" with many Calvinist and they all hold to the "no exceptions" position. But when I present them with Thomas' conversion, they simply refuse to give an answer, they fall silent.

    Blessings!
     
  5. Winman

    Winman Active Member

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    Arminians are correct in that they know Jesus died for them, this is scripture. Where they err is believing you can lose or forfeit salvation. So, they work to stay saved.

    Calvinists cannot know they are elect because of Limited Atonement, so they must work to prove to themselves they are saved.

    Non-Cals like myself know that Jesus died for us personally, because he died for ALL men. This is correct, this is scripture. But we also know you cannot lose salvation, because we are "sealed" and kept to the day of redemption. This is correct, this is scripture. And because our faith is founded on scripture, scripture itself is our assurance.

    1 Jhn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

    A Calvinist cannot claim 1 Jhn 5:13 because of Limited Atonement. He cannot know Jesus died for him personally, so he works to attempt to convince himself he is one of the elect, but that is a house built on shifting sand (Mat 7:26). It is a form of works salvation. This is in fact what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 7, those false converts boasted of their works. This was their confidence, but they were utterly lost.

    Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    The Arminian cannot claim 1 Jhn 5:13 because of Perseverance of the Saints. He must endure or work to the end to stay saved. It also is works salvation. The Arminian is not depending on Jesus to save him, he is depending on his own perseverance to the end.

    But the scriptural truth is when we believe on Jesus we are joined to his Spirit to become one spirit. (1 Cor 6:17) You cannot lose salvation now, because your "seed" the Holy Spirit remains in you forever. (1 Jhn 3:9) We are "sealed" until the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30)

    So, you cannot lose salvation. You do not have to work to prove you are saved, and you do not have to work to stay saved, we are "preserved" or kept "in him".

    A non-Cal like myself can claim 1 Jhn 5:13. I know for a FACT Jesus died for me, so if I place my faith in Jesus it will not be in vain. And the moment I do place my trust in Jesus I am joined to him, baptized "into him", I am "sealed" unto the day of redemption. Therefore, just as this verse plainly says, I can KNOW I have eternal life. My assurance is based upon the promises of God contained in scripture, and God cannot lie.

    So, Calvinists and Arminians both have it wrong, the truth is in the middle. Calvinists err with Limited Atonement, Arminians err with Perseverance of the Saints. The truth is UNlimited Atonement and Preservation of the Saints.
     
  6. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    You seem to misunderstand what is meant by irresistible grace.

    It doesn't mean that any or every expression or influence of God's grace is irresistible. What is meant by irresistible grace, is that at some point, of God's own choosing, he will overcome all resistance.

    It's pretty clear that God's calling of Paul was irresistible. After the road to Damascus experience, Paul had no option but to follow Christ. It was clearly determined, by God alone, that Saul would be saved and become the missionary and apostle Paul.

    [Act 9:6, 15 KJV] 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. ... 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

    Thomas' confession is not a problem either. God used the appearance of the resurrected Jesus to overcome all of Thomas' doubts and objections. Clearly the Spirit was at work here, because even seeing someone rise from the dead will not convert anyone.

    [Luk 16:31 KJV] 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    Neither case is a problem whatsoever for irresistible grace, once you rightly understand it means overcoming grace, not that grace is always irresistible. Overcoming or overwhelming grace would probably be a better term, but TULOP just doesn't work as well. :D

    Of course that's where the alternatives ROSES and BACON come in. ;)

    Radical depravity
    Overcoming grace
    Sovereign election
    Eternal life
    Singular redemption


    Bad People
    Already Elected
    Completely Atoned for
    Overwhelming called
    Never falling away
     
  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    It is both sad amd amusing to me that our brother insisits that I cannot really even know that I have been saved, due to holding to "heresy" in his opinion, yet he keeps living in deniel of the effects of the Fall!
     
  8. Winman

    Winman Active Member

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    It might be sad and amusing to you, it also happens to be the absolute truth.

    If Jesus did not die for every man, then how do you know he died for you?

    Do you think simply because you have convinced yourself you are elect makes it true?

    And what is this "witness of the Spirit" you are so sure of? As Inspector Javert pointed out, folks have all sorts of experiences and impressions that they believe comes from the Spirit.

    These folks will guarantee you that they are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Do you believe them?

    [​IMG]

    So, just because you "feel" saved, or have some "impression" does not make it so.

    I am not leaning on feelings or impressions, or my own behavior, but the word of God. I know by the word of God that Jesus personally died for me, because the scriptures say Jesus died for ALL MEN, and that includes me.

    You cannot know that.

    I also know that if I trust Jesus, I have his promise to save me.

    You cannot know that either, because the promise only applies to those whom Jesus died for, and you do not know if he died for you.

    Maybe you should run around the church and roll on the floor, then you will be really sure you are saved. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    To return to the topic, Paul's conversion demonstrates "Irresistible Grace" is a fiction. Recall while Saul was attacking believers, he was zealous for God. Now according to the fiction of Calvinism, unless a person is altered by Irresistible Grace, they will be God haters. So Paul had to be under the influence of Irresistible Grace when he loved God but hated Jesus. No Calvinist will have an answer, they will simply change the subject.

    Calvinism is a fiction as demonstrated again and again by the straightforward reading of the Bible.
     
  10. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31 Active Member

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    Irresistible grace is simple to those who listen and learn from Jesus Christmas not just lip service actually put His words in your step. We could not be irresistibly drawn if we don't listen and learn from Christ.

    We are drawn by something. All men will be drawn to Jesus, how by His word. If you don't listen and learn you have no hook to be holding on to be drawn.

    Paul spent His life spreading the Gospel because it is important, it is the means to be drawn.

    I have no problem with irresistible grace because I have never seen anyone come who does not listen and learn from Christ and we are witnesses of the true witnesses found in the Gospel.

    Paul knew no one was good not one so he had to spread the message that Jesus came to save them sinners. He also knew that no one seeked God so he spent his life seeking them for they would not seek Him on their own.
     
  11. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    So imprisoning and murdering Christians was a result of Paul's love for God?

    You really want to say that?

    On the road to Damascus, could Paul have simply stood up, dusted himself off, and said "No thanks" and gone on his merry way to imprison more believers?
     
  12. Winman

    Winman Active Member

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    Yes, Paul was killing and imprisoning Christians because he believed it was a false cult.

    Acts 26:9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
    10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
    11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
    12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,

    Paul sincerely believed he was serving God to punish Christians who in his opinion were subverting the Jewish religion.

    According to Paul, that is exactly what he COULD have done;

    Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
    14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
    15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
    16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
    17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
    18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
    19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

    Why would Paul tell us he was not disobedient unless he had the power and option to be disobedient?

    Paul does not tell us he was compelled, he does not tell us he was made willing, he simply tells us he was not disobedient, it was his decision, he chose to obey when he might have done otherwise.

    If Paul did not have a choice, then why mention this at all?
     
  13. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    I don't debate that. He believed he was serving God. Those who murder Christians today often think they are serving and loving God. Are they? Of course not! Neither was Paul. He was, as he later says of Israel in Romans, zealous but not according to knowledge. In other words a misdirected, wrong zeal.

    :rolleyes:

    Saying he was not disobedient does not mean that he could have been disobedient.

    Read what happened again:

    Act 9:3-6, 15-16 NASB - As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do." ... But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

    Act 22:10, 14-15 NASB - "And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.' ... "And he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. 'For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.

    Act 26:15-19 NASB - "And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 'But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' "So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,

    Jesus appeared and declared that Paul had been chosen and appointed to be a witness and minister. Jesus says that Paul will do this. There is no option here. Jesus could not have failed in making Paul a minister of the gospel. This absolutely, infallibly will occur.

    Can you really disagree with that?
     
  14. Winman

    Winman Active Member

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    Agreed.

    I disagree, why say you were NOT disobedient unless you could have been disobedient? The words obedient and disobedient imply CHOICE. If someone asks you to leave the room and you do, you were obedient. If they literally pick you up and throw you out of the room, you were not being obedient, you were not given a choice, but forced.

    I don't disagree with any of that, but I might understand it a little differently than you. I believe God in his foreknowledge foreknew that Paul would believe. This is why Paul could say he was separated from his mother's womb to serve God.

    God also knows every event that will take place in Paul's life, how he will be beaten and flogged, stoned, and eventually beheaded. He also knew of Paul's successes, how he would start many churches and lead thousands to Christ.

    See, I believe God picks certain persons for a reason. Jesus picked 11 disciples because he knew these men would believe and would give their lives for the gospel. Peter made lots of mistakes, but he was the only one who drew a sword and was willing to fight probably 100 soldiers in the garden. That is a gutsy guy.

    Jesus also knew exactly what Judas would do, how he would go to the priests and contract with them for 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus. I read somewhere that that would be a quarter of a million dollars in today's money!

    So, Jesus knew what kind of person Paul was. Paul gave his all when he thought Christians were enemies of God, and Paul gave his all when he realized Jesus was Lord.
     
  15. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    Good. :thumbs:


    But again, the text shows he literally had no other choice. It was not an option for Jesus to fail in calling Paul to salvation and ministry.

    I don't believe that saying he was not disobedient indicates he had another option, and the text backs me up.

    A little differently? Just a bit. :smilewinkgrin:

    The text shows repeatedly that it was God's choice of Paul that secured his salvation and ministry, not God's reacting to Paul's choosing or "foreknowing" it in the sense that you use "foreknow".

    Paul had been appointed and chosen for this by God, apart from anything Paul had done (or would do). As you said, "he was separated from his mother's womb to serve God" by God's own choosing. Paul didn't choose to separate or set himself apart, God did that. I think the ESV has the best rendering of that passage:

    Gal 1:15 ESV - But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,

    If God picks people for a certain reason then isn't that saving based on something we do? Isn't that meriting, at least in part, our salvation?

    I think impetuous would be a better word to describe Peter. Gutsy doesn't quite make it IMO.

    Inflation... it's a beast.

    But could Paul have refused Christ? The text is clear. He could not.
     
  16. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    At the core of the "I" is the teaching that the ONLY reason anyone BELEIVES is because the Holy Spirit has FIRST regenerated the heart to MAKE them believe. No need for resurrected and or blinding visits from Jesus Christ.

    I agree the visit from Jesus Christ was irresistible, but this is not the issue at hand with the doctrine taught by Calvinist. As I said above, the doctrine teaches that the Holy Spirit must regenerate first. Paul indeed had an exceptional experience and obeyed the call. Remember, before this exceptional "irresistible" visit Paul hated Jesus Christ and the Gospel message.

    This is a perfect example of how the position of TULIP is so rigid as to place God in a box, but to keep God in the box one must totally ignore multitudes of Scripture.

    The Spirit is always at work, this is not the point of disagreement. Again ,back to the issue TULIP teaches which is that one MUST be regenerated or they cannot believe. Thomas' confession is indeed a problem for the doctrine of TULIP. The problem sits there glaring at the reader, yet will the reader have eyes to see and ears to hear it? Jesus gave the clear answer to Thomas himself, and to all who will read the answer and hear the answer....."because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed".

    You appeal to Jesus' own words to dismiss Jesus' own words. Why will these not be persuaded, though one rose from the dead? Is it not because they already refused to hear Moses and the prophets? But there is more than that here in this passage, there is a condition given by Jesus in this passage you present, "IF" they hear not, they make a choice. Luke 16:31 does not save the "I" of TULIP, in fact it declares "choice", something TULIP disdains.

    Thus, Jesus' reason for Thomas believing remains very clear and that reason wipes out the "I" of TULIP in that it wipes out the teaching that one must first be regenerated in order to believe on Jesus.
     
  17. Winman

    Winman Active Member

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    Wow, a thumbs up from a Calvinist. :love2:

    Well, when God told Paul, you MUST do this, God was absolutely giving Paul an order. But God foreknew Paul would obey.

    Who rises to the top at any job? The guy the boss knows will willingly follow orders. And Paul was at the very top.

    I disagree, making a point that he was not disobedient implies he could have been disobedient. Why even mention it if he could not do otherwise?

    I believe God chose those whom he foreknew would believe.

    2 The 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

    We are chosen "through" belief of the truth. God chose us "in him" before the foundation of the world. But nobody is "in him" until they believe in time (Rom 16:7). So how could God choose us "in him" before the foundation of the world when we did not exist and could not believe? FOREKNOWLEDGE. We are elect or chosen according or based on God the Father's foreknowledge.

    1 Pet 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    Note how this verse is almost a repeat of 2 The 2:13. We are chosen "through" our obedience and sprinkling of the blood. That is when we obey or believe the gospel.

    Yes, those who believe shall be saved, and those who do not believe shall be damned.

    But faith is not merit. Faith is trusting in someone else's merit and faithfulness. I am not saved because I am worthy, but because I am leaning or depending on Jesus's death, burial, and resurrection to save me, and Jesus's faithfulness to save all who come to him as he promised.

    You could be the biggest crook and liar in town, but you could believe your godly mother when she promised to bring you cookies when she visits you in jail this Sunday. Believing her does not make you good.


    Oh, I think it took some guts to pull out that sword and start swinging when he was vastly outnumbered.

    Yes, but I had never realized just how much money it was. Puts a whole new light on it.

    Again, just because God said you MUST do this or that, does not mean Paul could not refuse. But I believe God already knew Paul would obey, and that is the reason he chose Paul.
     
  18. Winman

    Winman Active Member

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    That Paul could disobey God is directly shown in scripture.

    Acts 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

    These disciples, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told Paul that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

    Did he listen? NO, he disobeyed and went.

    Acts 21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
    11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
    12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
    13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
    14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
    15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.

    Again, disciples under the influence of the Holy Spirit told Paul not to go up to Jerusalem, but he would not listen and went anyway.
     
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The Holy Spirit, and Jesus Himself, warned pauk that he would suffer many things for Christ, but they misunderstood the prophecy to mean should not Go!

    The Lord was girding him to be prepared to go, NOT to stop him, as was will of God for him to go to Rome!
     
  20. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    That has absolutely nothing to do with Paul's conversion or Irresistible grace.
     
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