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Featured Salvation - Passive or Active?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Pastor_Bob, May 10, 2019.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    As I read the gospels, I see repeated statements by our Lord that, at least in my mind, indicate that our role in salvation is an active role. It is not a works-based salvation in the least, any more than reaching out to receive a gift is working for that gift.

    John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
    6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
    7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
    10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture
    .

    Obviously, I believe in a "whosoever" will salvation. A common misconception is that I, by default, must also believe in a "when-so-ever" or a "how-so-ever" salvation. That is simply not true. The Bible is clear that the Father must draw us to the Son. The Holy Spirit must work His convicting power in our hearts. We are saved in His time, not our own.

    In my humble opinion, to meet God's condition of believing, coming to Him, drinking, and entering, is not at all a legalistic issue; it is an obedience issue. God ordained and established the plan of salvation; I must simply conform to His plan.
     
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  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    I do not know if I understand your question, the voice of "are saved" in Ephesisns 2:8 is passive. . . . σεσωσμενοι . . . .
     
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  3. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Is there is a middle ground?

    Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
     
  4. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    My question was doctrinal not grammatical.
    Is my role in my salvation an active role or a passive role? Is there anything I must do to be saved, or is it a forgone conclusion that is beyond my control?
     
  5. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    These statements are confined to the gospels.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

    Acts 16: 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
    31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

    Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
    10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
     
  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Bob, why did you believe?

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  7. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    Excellent question. I am always eager to share my testimony. Granted, there is much more introspection required to answer the question "why" I believed rather than "when" I believed.

    I was saved at the age of 12 in a SBC in central Illinois. The church had recently started a bus ministry and came to our little town out in the country. In church, I heard for the first time that my Roman Catholic infant "baptism" was not sufficient to take me to heaven. I had pictures of that ceremony, and that was what I was clinging to for salvation.

    On a Sunday night in February, and evangelist named Billy Joe Taylor was preaching and my heart was stirred and the realization came to me that I would spend eternity in hell if I did not accept this free gift of salvation that the preacher was preaching about. In my heart, I believed that Jesus was indeed the Saviour and that He alone could save me.

    I had very significant trust issues as a child. By the time I was saved, my second step-father was in our home. There would be two more before it was all said and done. When the preacher told us that if we would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and place our faith and trust in Him, I had to let go of all the reservations I had and simply trust God at His word. On the first note of the invitation, I knelt where I was standing (I was seated on the front pew already); and, the best way I knew how, asked Jesus to save me.

    Quite frankly, I believed in part because I did not want to die and go to hell. I also believed because the message rang true with the void I had in my life. I has been searching for something, I just didn't realize what it was until I heard the gospel.

    Incidentally, I married the daughter of the man who drove the bus to pick me up on Sundays. We celebrate 36 years next month. Hallelujah!
     
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  8. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Bob, that is a wonderful testimony. Like you, I was raised in a Roman Catholic home. I was baptized, made my first communion, and was confirmed. However, the real reason for my question has to do with what caused you to believe. Let me try and explain myself better.

    I do not want to assume anything, so I am going to ask you to correct me if I misunderstand your view. You wrote, "The Bible is clear that the Father must draw us to the Son. The Holy Spirit must work His convicting power in our hearts. We are saved in His time, not our own." What you did not write, although I am assuming you believe, is that the Father draws, the Holy Spirit convicts, but the determining factor in salvation is whether or not we believe. IOW God brings the horse to water but He does not make it drink. If He does make the horse drink, then they concept of free will is rendered null and void.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  9. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Bible teaches that the conviction of the Holy Spirit can be resisted (Acts 7:51) and ultimately rejected. I believe the gospel message can be rejected (Acts 13:46; 18:4-6).

    My motivation is not to stubbornly defend the free will position; my motivation is to declare what I believe to be Bible doctrine as taught by Jesus and the Apostles.

    Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
    24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not
    . (KJV)

    The rich young ruler is another example.
    Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
    22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
    (KJV)

    Jesus clearly loved him (that makes him part of the "world" in John 3:16 by some Calvinists' understanding of the verse). Jesus clearly told him what he must do to be saved. This man had the choice to either accept or reject Jesus' message. Sadly, he rejected it.
     
  10. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    The heart of the issue, imo, is not whether we have an active role in salvation, which we certainly do. We respond to God's intervention in our lives with faith in Jesus.

    The issue is whether someone chosen for salvation can resist the intervention of God. I don't think so.

    There are many questions that come up in the issue. Since God knows everything, then He knows exactly how much influence each person needs to respond in faith. Since God is all powerful, He is able to exert whatever influence is necessary.

    Thanks
     
  11. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    God knows how much influence is needed. Agreed. But does he look down through the corridors of time and see what is needed and apply it? Or does he create the person with the predetermined amount?
     
  12. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    Seems God had several magnets on that bus to draw little Bob on board and he decided to go with it. ;)
     
  13. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Bob, and that is an important fact to determine because it affects how we answer the question of whether salvation is active or passive.

    While I can appreciate that it may not be your motivation, the role of free will in your view cannot be underestimated. You already answered the question when you wrote, "I believe the gospel message can be rejected." Will it surprise you to know that all Monergists (Calvinists) believe that the gospel message can be rejected? We do. Of course, the devil is in the details (excuse the term). We believe that those who are not predestined to eternal life (Ephesians 1:5) will persist in their unbelief and reject the gospel if it is presented to them. They are acting consistently with their sin nature. So, when you quote passages like Mark 10 and Acts 28 to support your position, Monergists see them differently. Those who reject the gospel are those who are not appointed unto eternal life (Acts 13:48).
     
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  14. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe God looks through corridors to gain information. What exactly are you asking concerning your 2nd question. The person is created with predetermined amount of....what?
     
  15. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Receive salvation as the gift it is, through faith alone, in Christ alone. God gives us repentance which precedes our faith.
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Your post implies the sinner has full ability as if the fall into sin and death has had no effect on the sinner.
    You suggest a neutral sinner.
    Scripture indicates alienated sinners always oppose God,because of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
    The accounts in scripture demonstrate God drawing the sinner by various means.
     
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  17. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    #4




    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL
     
  18. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    The way I see, my friend, you believe exactly as I do; but, in the end, I call it "free will" while you call it "predestination."

    How could Jesus love the rich young ruler when he wasn't part of the elect? Why would Jesus tell him how he could have eternal life if eternal life was not attainable? Calvinists may not know who is and who isn't elected to heaven, but Jesus certainly does.This seems like a wasted conversation if this young man was predetermined to spend eternity without Christ.
     
  19. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Rightly divide this and there is clarity:

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Jn 1

    v12 - man active

    v13 - man passive
     
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  20. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    A difficulty held in common with all theologies is where to draw the line, or make a clear distinction, between God's sovereignty and man’s responsibility. At what point does the realm of the eternal where man is totally passive end, and where does the realm of the temporal where man is active and held accountable begin?

    The Primitive Baptists in general have given it their best shot to do this and rightly divide by making the distinction between eternal salvation (election, regeneration, etc.) and gospel salvation (obedience, belief, profession of Christ as LORD). A short easy read on this is another of Elder Mike Gowens' essays:

    Born Again: The Doctrine of Effectual Calling
     
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