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Featured Grace: potential or actual

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. Greektim

    Greektim Well-Known Member

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    Just another perspective or angle to debate the Calvinism "controversy".

    Is God's grace in salvation merely an offer for the person to recieve?

    or

    Is God's grace in salvation a reality actualized for the elect?

    To put it another way: does the Bible present grace as a potentiality or an actuality?
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

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  3. freeatlast

    freeatlast New Member

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    It is both.
     
  4. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    Grace is given to all. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. God's word/bible is for all. But more grace is given to those who seek God (because of His initial grace).

    So yes. Both. :tongue3:
     
  5. Van

    Van Well-Known Member

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    Grace is simply the bestowal of divine favor. Therefore we are saved by grace through faith. This grace is irresistible, it is God crediting our faith as righteousness and placing us spiritually in Christ. But God's revelatory grace, the gospel of Christ is resistible. So by the numbers:

    (1) We were created with the capacity to understand the gospel message by the grace of God.

    (2) We can by the practice of sin so harden our hearts that we can no longer understand the gospel.

    (3) Some individuals for God's greater purpose have their hearts hardened, i.e. the Jews of Romans 11) and they too cannot understand the gospel.

    (4) During our lives some of us are and some are not and some more than others cultivated such that we are more open to the gospel by the resistible grace of God.
    It was by the grace of God I was born into a Christian family.

    (5) Sometimes when first exposed to the gospel it is accepted in full or in part. It is by the grace of God that we are exposed at all, and if believers keep presenting Christ to us by words and deeds, such as showing us kindness, it is by the grace of God.

    (6) If God accepts our faith and credits it as righteousness it is by the grace of God. And when He does, He puts us in Christ and nothing can snatch us away from our inheritance of eternal life.
     
  6. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4 Member

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    I do not have a knowledgable answer to this question therefore my opinion (as see in others) would be mere speculation based on preconcieved notions to back my Calvinistic theology.

    I believe an examination of the Greek in usages would be wise.

    I had a professor a few years ago begin a course (Redemption and Reconciliation) by saying he does not like the terms: common grace and special grace. He used the term common goodness rather than grace because he believed that only true usages in the Greek for grace referred to salvation of the elect. He spoke fluent Greek so he was well aware of the fact that his claim did not use similar terms, just grace. He saw grace in a Calvinistic sense in that it was active and effectual towards its targets. In other words it worked in direct connection with God's will. So grace carries the power of God in bringing about His goodness and will for the elect in salvation.

    Have I studied that claim, no, but I did think it was an interesting addition to your post.
     
  7. JesusFan

    JesusFan New Member

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    jesus death was NOT to pay for a "possible/potential" salvation of people, it was payment in full in reality that would get/be applied to the redeemed/saved of the Lord!
     
  8. Herald

    Herald New Member

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    How about we put it a third way? God's grace, in salvation, is effectual for the elect. As the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith describes it:

     
  9. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow New Member

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    God's grace makes clear the way to heaven for all who will choose to believe the Gospel.
     
  10. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

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    IOW,in your view man clinches the deal of salvation,right?
     
  11. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member

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    This section is pretty straight forward;
     
  12. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow New Member

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    My view, which is the biblical view, is that God offers salvation and man responds. If you don't like it, take it up with God, not me.
     
  13. The Archangel

    The Archangel Active Member

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    I don't think we're arguing against God offering salvation and man (certain persons) responding in repentance and faith.

    However, what possesses a man or woman who has a heart that "desires only evil continually" to come to Christ in repentance and faith?

    That's the question.

    The Archangel
     
  14. freeatlast

    freeatlast New Member

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    That is like asking what possessed Adam to sin who was only good and had no evil in him?

    Both are answered with the same answer. Free will. Man is unlike any other creature on earth. He can choose. Even the most evil person can choose to do a good deed. Man can be convinced that he needs to come to repentance and faith.
     
  15. David Lamb

    David Lamb Active Member

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    Robert, when you write, "My view, which is the biblical view," I hope you are not suggesting that those of us with a different soteriological view hold that view in spite of what the bible teaches.

    I know that I and others with similar beliefs to me (such as Herald and Martin Marprelate) don't say to ourselves, "Well, I know the bible tells me that Jesus died to make salvation possible. but I'm going to have things my way, and I want to believe that Jesus died to make salvation actual!" Rather, we believe that Jesus making salvation actual is the biblical view.

    None of us has perfect understanding of God's Word, which is surely why there is a diversity of understanding among genuine Christians on various topics, including this one of soteriology.
     
  16. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow New Member

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    It would be impossible for me to believe that what Calvinism teaches is compatible with scripture. After all this is the point of disagreement.
     
  17. JesusFan

    JesusFan New Member

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    actually, ONLY Adam was able to 'exercise" free will in the sense that Non cals ascribe to that term...

    He freely chose to sin against god, NOT having sin nature, so his crime made all of us get same 'reward" spiritual/physical death...

    So NONE of us from Adam forward have same 'free will" as he id, so that is WHY we need God to enable to us to have that capacity again!
     
  18. JesusFan

    JesusFan New Member

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    God offers the Gospel to all men, but ONLY those whom that he has enabled to receive it will get it and place faith in Christ!
     
  19. JesusFan

    JesusFan New Member

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    ONLY Adam was able to exercise 'Arminian" theology and get 'saved" as he was without Sin nature, and could 'freely" choose God...

    ALL others since than are dead in their sin nature and in their sins, so need God to enable us to have 'free will" respond again!
     
  20. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    First of all, the bible never says or implies that Adam had free will and we don't. If so, please post it. And secondly, after Adam fell, he was still able to hear God calling to him. He was fully aware of his sin (as are we) and hid (as do we). But God called out to him (as He does to us) and Adam was able to answer (as are we).
     
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