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How Free Will Turns the Gospel into Law and Grace into Works.

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by 1689Dave, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    Free will permeates the world as far as it concerns law. The law holds people responsible based on their ability to obey or disobey it. And free will is in play wherever laws exist.

    In the Old Testament, God held Israel responsible for keeping the Ten Commandments based on free will. But a problem develops when we try to import free will and law into the New Covenant. God did away with law and free will has no place. So if we keep free will, it is at the expense of turning the gospel into law And God’s grace into works.

    Jesus says whoever believes has eternal life. Naturally understood, believing is a trait of those who have eternal life. But if we keep free will, we turn this announcement into a law which in effect says whoever chooses to believe has eternal life. So we destroy the gospel and God’s grace turning them into law and works.

    Other examples are the Philippian jailer who after the earthquake asked Paul “what must I do to be saved?” And Paul told him “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”. Jesus says “whoever believes has eternal life”. So the jailer had eternal life and was a believer before he asked Paul for instructions. Or he would not have asked. But free will turns this into law and thinks salvation happens only after the jailer kept the law.

    One more illustration is where Paul says “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” Romans 10:9 (NASB95). But again, a person must already believe with their heart, that is be saved, or they would not do this.
     
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  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    This is an example of your poor attempts at exegesis which ends up as nothing more than eisegesis. Your assumption based on your predisposition is that “whoever believes has eternal life” means that one believes because they are already saved. That is not what that verse says and that personal interpretation is inconsistent with other verses:

    John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
     
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  3. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    If you say "whoever chooses to believe" you turn the gospel (the announcement) into a law and grace into works.
     
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  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Nope you don't. Choosing is not meritorious.
     
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  5. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    A person must believe (be saved according to Jesus) or they would not "choose to believe" thinking of it legalistically as a form of repentance.
     
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  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    We have to be careful not to turn the biblical doctrine of Election into something it is not. We know a self-autonomous free will is not biblical. The sinner is completely fallen in his trespasses and sins and is not capable of belief prior to regeneration by the Holy Spirit. That said, the command to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) exists. So, it is not wrong to say that whosoever believes will be saved. None of us know who the Elect are. That is why the Gospel is to be freely proclaimed to all.
     
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  7. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    If we say "whoever believes will be saved" we are announcing the good news. If we say "whoever chooses to believe" we are turning the gospel into law and grace into works.
     
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  8. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I think that works in a seminary class if we are discussing the intricacies of soteriology. Let me ask you a question. Do we choose to believe? I am not negating predestination and election and the work of the Holy Spirit in regenerating elect sinners. All of that is true. But when the Holy Spirit regenerates a person, do they not choose to believe? Do they not make a choice? Now, can they not make that choice? No. Saving grace is effectual for the Elect. They will always believe. But they do freely choose.
     
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  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Believe is not saved
     
  10. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    It is evidence of salvation. You cannot believe in any true sense unless you are saved. Heb. 11:1
     
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  11. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    Mark,
    Please forgive me in advance for my apparent tone, but this subject is one that I am especially passionate about.

    I believe that in past threads, I've firmly established the difference between what a true gift is, and what constitutes a "gift that comes with strings attached";
    You have disagreed, and that is your prerogative.
    But I will re-state this anyway, for the benefit of those who read it and may end up agreeing, as rare as that may seem:

    With regard to biblical salvation,
    Choice is meritorious, if God credits the correct choice in the receiving of the gift, while denying credit to the one who refuses it.
    The result?
    The person who chooses correctly, makes his own destiny.

    What's not attractive to the man who hates God, about that?

    Fallen human pride wants what it wants, and if it can get it, it will "step up to the plate" and agree to almost anything...and there are plenty of groups out there that cater to that very thing.
    For example, I can walk down to any of 9 different street corners ( that have a building full of professing believers on it ) in my town of 5,300 people, and get the same, basic message.
    Salvation for a price.

    In computer language, we call it an "If-Then-Else" statement.
    To me, that is cheap, and reduces God's glorious Gospel to something that it isn't....an "offer".


    I'm sorry that you and I disagree, but to me, anything that stoops to the level of appealing to man's selfish pride, sense of comfort, sense of "getting God off my back" or "making an attractive deal" / "rescuing me from my certain eternal punishment", and offers us something that can be gained by performing an act, any act, is simply not the Gospel of God's grace to sinners.

    As I see it, you really are unable to grasp what the gift of God actually is.:(
     
    #11 Dave Gilbert, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    That is not even close to what that verse says. I would quote you Romans 10:17; Romans 1:16; James 1:18
     
  13. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    [/QUOTE]

    1. You are not God. You do not know if the Phillipian jailer was already a believer when he asked Paul for instructions. Furthermore, if he were already a believer, why would Paul say to him, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." This is yet another example of the Calvinist trying to change and contort the scripture to fit into their tortured theology.

    2. You are not a mind reader. You have no way of knowing what was on the Phillipian jailer's mind. You cannot glibly say, "So the jailer had eternal life and was a believer before he asked Paul for instructions."

    3. Humans cannot change the nature of the Gospel into a law via their free will or via anything.

    4. John is quite clear that belief is necessary for salvation. Salvation is not proof of belief. Salvation is a result of belief.

    These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31
     
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  14. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Just keep on asserting that over and over again. It still will not be true.
     
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  15. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    In your mind you have established it.

    Again I would restates my question. Since when do we give credit to the one who receives a gift for also giving it to themselves because they acted on the offer and to measure to receive it? No one ever says that the receiver is also the giver. The receiver did not determine that they would be given a gift therefore there is nothing meritorious about taking action to receive it.

    There is nothing about anything I have said that promotes pride. That is a red herring.
     
  16. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    Notice, all of this comes from God, not you.
     
  17. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    Then prove it wrong using scripture.
     
  18. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    1. You are not God. You do not know if the Phillipian jailer was already a believer when he asked Paul for instructions. Furthermore, if he were already a believer, why would Paul say to him, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." This is yet another example of the Calvinist trying to change and contort the scripture to fit into their tortured theology.

    2. You are not a mind reader. You have no way of knowing what was on the Phillipian jailer's mind. You cannot glibly say, "So the jailer had eternal life and was a believer before he asked Paul for instructions."

    3. Humans cannot change the nature of the Gospel into a law via their free will or via anything.

    4. John is quite clear that belief is necessary for salvation. Salvation is not proof of belief. Salvation is a result of belief.

    These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31[/QUOTE]
    Belief is a fruit of the Holy Spirit too
     
  19. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    I see it very plainly:
    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ( Hebrews 11:1 )

    Chain it together with other declarations in God's word:

    " So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." ( Romans 10:17 )
    " Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." ( Jude 1:3 )

    "Hearing" is how it comes...by the word of God.
    The saints are who it's delivered to.


    ...and it makes perfect sense.
    As in other threads, faith is a gift ( Ephesians 2:8 ), authored and finished by Jesus Christ ( Hebrews 11:1 ), that not all men possess ( 2 Thessalonians 3:2 ).

    The very words establish it.
    Where do you think I get it...John Calvin? ;)

    I pick up God's word, and dig into it...
    It's amazing what comes out.


    It's all to the glory of God and His mercy.:)
     
    #19 Dave Gilbert, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    OK?
     
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