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Featured Salvation - Passive or Active?

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

  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Bob, Jesus' dialog with the ruler does not refute unconditional election. Our Lord knew this man's heart. Jesus was teaching a larger message to those who heard His exchange with the ruler, so it was not wasted time. When the gospel is proclaimed is it wasted on those who are not appointed unto eternal life? Consider the words of Paul:

    Romans 9:19-24 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. (emphasis mine)

    Back in Acts, Luke writes:

    Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

    If there were those who were appointed unto eternal life, that means there were those who were not appointed unto eternal life. Was the gospel proclamation wasted on those who were not appointed? By no means! God back to Romans 9:22-23 (above).
     
    #21 Reformed, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Salvation as I understand it... Is not what I did for Christ but what Christ did for me!... This has always be my stance since I've been here... Brother Glen:)

    Christ Alone!... Tread the wine press alone!... And saved his own!
     
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  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    Agreed, even when it was thought of as a legalistic issue, as per Progressive Revelation we know salvation wasn’t really j dependent on the obedience of sacrificial payments but rather the active faith of the individual for the purposes of being conscience of sins. Hebrews 10:1,2. It is the faith of a man that comes into judgment, his love of the truth in which none will have an excuse that they could not take that action in their own free will for reasons such as they could not know nor understand and weren’t “predestined” to be passively forced to have faith.

    Rom 1:20-21 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    How vain and unglorifying to God it seems to deny one’s ability to know and understand the truth that God has shown them and in effect claim that they are only thankful for the belief of His Mightiness and realizing they had no other choice. Even the devils believe and tremble but they did not love the truth and in the Day of Judgment their passive faith would be lacking any acknowledgment of active obedience.

    Jas 2:19-22 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
     
  4. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    [QUOTE="InTheLight, post: 2499439,
    How do you think those questions in post 4...address this post?
     
  5. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    First, God loves His creation, imo. I don't believe God only loves the elect.

    Second, Jesus told him eternal life was available if he kept the commandments. That statement is true to all people. If we could keep the commandments perfectly, we would have no need for a savior. But, we both know, no one can keep the commandments. We need a savior. Jesus attempted to get him to realize his love of money was keeping him from God.

    Thirdly, Jesus had no wasted conversations. When Jesus immediately warned His disciples about how difficult it was for the rich to get into heaven, they responded with, "who then can be saved?" Jesus told them that nothing was impossible with God.

    So His disciples, and all who read those passages, are exposed to valuable truths, i.e. money can hinder your relationship with God and God is in charge of salvation.
     
  6. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    As I see it, if we experience Christ while we hear the gospel being preached and believe what we here, it means we have eternal life (are born again). Jesus says whoever believes has eternal life. From there we repent which turns the new birth into the baptism of the Holy Spirit, receive baptism in water asap. And live a holy life. This often becomes muddled by clumsy evangelism that places the burden of salvation on us, turning the gospel into law and grace into works.
     
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  7. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    You and I have a much different interpretation of Acts 13:48 (see below). I believe that it must be interpreted in light of verse 46: Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. (KJV)

    Men are not elected and rejected on the basis of sovereign choice, but on the basis of faith.
    John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (KJV)

    Salvation is for all men. God gives each man that choice. That in no way minimizes His sovereignty.
    John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (KJV)

    I know the Calvinist position is that only those predetermined to believe will believe. I simply do not see God places those limits on salvation.

    [QUOTE
    We scarcely need observe, after the above remarks, that the specific meaning attached to the generic term in question, in any particular passage, is to be determined by the context. In the passage we are now considering, the context has no allusion to any thing like an appointment of one part, and a rejection of the other; but the writer draws a line of distinction between the conduct of certain Gentiles and that of the Jews addressed by Paul in the closing paragraph of his speech. To render the contrast between the two more conspicuous, he throws his words into antithesis with those of Paul. Paul had said to the Jews, “You put the word of God from you;” Luke says of the Gentiles, “They glorified the word of the Lord.” Paul said, “You judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life;” Luke says, many of the Gentiles “were determined for everlasting life.” It is an act of the mind to which Paul objects on the part of the Jews, and it is as clearly an act of mind in the Gentiles which Luke puts in contrast with it. At some previous time in their history, these Gentiles, like all others, had been undetermined in reference to everlasting life, either because they were not convinced that there was such a state, or because they hesitated to seek for it. But now their minds were set in order upon the subject, by being determined to labor for the eternal life which Paul preached.


    A Commentary on Acts of Apostles, with a Revised Version of the Text.][/QUOTE]

     
  8. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. But, we have to appropriate the work of Christ to our own situation. It is available to all who will believe and trust Him.
     
  9. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    God does not place limits on salvation. Sin does .
    Men do not elect themselves, God does.
     
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  10. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    #4
     
  11. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Yes. We do. That is OK. At least we are able to discuss it. That is all I can ask.
     
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  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    One of the difficulties in discussing doctrine, is that the same vague verses are cited and claimed to mean something added to the text.

    Let us consider your post objectively:

    1) Our role in salvation is passive. God saves us by grace. However that gift of salvation comes "through faith." Well that would mean we play an active role, right? Nope. It is God alone who credits our faith in Christ as righteousness, or not. Salvation does not depend on the man who wills (Romans 9:16) but on God.
    The second and third soils put their "faith" in Christ but were not saved, because God did not deem to credit it as righteousness.

    2) Yes, the "work" of putting our faith in Christ, does not mean we have somehow in some part "earned" salvation. A salvation through (or on the basis of credited faith) is not of works, lest anyone boast.

    3) John 6:29 is another vague verse. With one side saying it means God does the work (causing us to believe) and the other side saying this work of ours is required by God. See the NET bible translation.

    4) The remaining three verses in John (6:35, 7:37 and 10:9) are also vague and different views of the meanings are possible. Does "coming" refer to (a) coming from not trusting in Christ to trusting in Christ, a change of mind, or (b) does coming refer to being spiritually transferred into Christ, such that Christ will not cast you out? See John 6:37 for the answer.

    5) Salvation is indeed available to everyone who believes in Christ, and God has not predetermined who is able to believe. He determines whether to consider our faith as righteousness.

    6) Salvation is not, therefore, automatic, profess belief and you are in. This is a mistaken view omitting Romans Chapter 4.

    7) Another redefined word is "draw." One side says it means compel, and the other side says it mean persuade. In the OT we see that God draws by lovingkindness. Therefore, when we behold Christ high and lifted up, dying for us, we are attracted by God's lovingkindness. So we are "drawn" by the gospel and not by some supernatural tractor beam.

    8) The gospel is the power of God for salvation, therefore the message is the "convicting power" of the Holy Spirit.

    9) We are saved (put spiritually in Christ) when God credits our faith as righteousness, and this could occur right away, or sometime after our initial acceptance, as we grow in our commitment to Christ.

    10) "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"
    Spot on!
     
    #32 Van, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    A little more on John 10:9:

    10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture.

    First it is clear that Jesus is the means of salvation, and provides the propitiatory shelter for our salvation. "If anyone enters through Me" indicates the possibility but not the certainty of being saved. But the means of entry is not explained, do we turn the knob and walk in under our own power, saving ourselves, or is our enter by God transferring us out of the realm of darkness into the kingdom of His Son? I believe transfer by God is the actual means.

    Will come in and go out. The meaning of this phrase is uncertain. I think it is an idiom meaning to have a relationship with the community of believers, safe and secure (no one can snatch us out of His hand), and in the kingdom with the aid of our indwelt Spirit, we will find spiritual sustenance (pasture).
     
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    John 7:37 also should be analyzed:
    Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

    Here again, the means of "let him come" is unclear. The verb "come" is either in the middle voice (meaning he had something to do with his coming to Jesus) or the passive voice (meaning he was acted upon to cause him to come.) Taking the middle, he has something to do with it, he was thirsty, but God brought him in.

    Thirsty for what? The living water. When we are put in Christ, we are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit, figuratively called "living water."
     
    #34 Van, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  15. mineben256

    mineben256 New Member

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    Salvation is received upon condition of faith. It is passively received, but we actively come to get it. Maybe an analogy will help you understand, you and a man who wants to give you a gift are apart from each other in the same room. You are aware of it by being told by someone else in the room. So you, yourself walk over to the man, and he hands you the gift; In this scenario, it's perfectly accurate to say that you 1. came for it and 2. received it through nothing of your own doing. You didn't have to wrestle it out of his hands, he handed it to you. It is much the same for salvation by all I've read in the scriptures.
     
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  16. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps a better analogy is you are in a room with someone who wants to give you a gift. You hate that person and want nothing to do with him. The reason you hate him is deep inside the very core of your being. The person sends Holy Spirit to change you at the very core of your being. Once you have been changed at the very core of your being, you no longer hate the person but understand the truth of what you have heard about him. You are repentant of rejecting him and his gift. You then go to that person and humbly accept his gift.

    So, you see the passive nature of the fundamental change in the person's nature and the active acceptance of the gift.

    Peace to you
     
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  17. GaoLu

    GaoLu Member

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    For the life of me, I can't figure out any difficulty. v12 - man active & v13 - man passive.

    Unless we feel some need to exclude one or the other everything works out in my mind quite well. If we try to exclude one or the other we make a terrible logical and practical mess.
     
  18. mineben256

    mineben256 New Member

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    The problem with your analogy is that the passive reception of John 16:8 "reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" is not exclusive to people who end up getting saved. Anyone who has the gospel preached unto them is the object of the conviction of the Holy Ghost. They then believe, and the as a consequence receive righteousness and the earnest of the inheritance of the Spirit (Romans 4:5, Ephesians 1:13-14).

    People are saved after they are made righteous, which as the verses I just cited show, is after belief, according to 1 Peter 4:17-18:

    "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
    And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
     
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