Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Does that mean that I will no longer go into that subject again?
Well, let's consider some things: Though I am actively collecting the works of Ryrie ( I have his study Bible as well as "So Great Salvation" - which I have read cover to cover ) I am also going to used book shops to see what of his works I can find there (Making things really hard here is that I now have two kids in college so my finances are limited ) Yet, in all this, I still hate classic, or "normative" dispensationalism, and its evil little daughter, Free Grace Theology.
Again, Does that mean that I will no longer go into that subject again?
A system that separates the Promises from the Person of Christ simply MUST be opposed, and vigorously so.
Christ is Prophet, Priest and King. We must present Him to the world as such. His offices must not be broken up. There simply is no scriptural warrant for that. His kingdom is within each believer, and that with God the Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer. This relationship between God the Holy Spirit and the believer is what the kingdom is all about in its present form. Later, at Christ's coming, the kingdom will be in power and judgement. In the mean time the Christian, being a subject of that kingdom, is the outward manifestation of God's rule to a lost and rebellious world; a world that has broken God's bonds, and cast away His cords; a world that loves sin, and hates its Maker.
You see, in placing so very much emphasis on a future millenial kingdom the dispy has changed the whole Biblical character of the Christian. Old line dispy's present the Gospel as a ticket to Heaven while the Bible presents a much more comprehensive picture than that. The Gospel results in the indwelling of the Spirit, death to sin, slavery to Christ, conformity to Christ - sanctification - and on to glorification. Ryrie, as does Kendall, who is not a dispy, btw, says that since practical sanctification is not listed in the unbreakable chain in Romans 8:29-30 that it (practical sanctification) must not be vital to the salvation experience. What a terrible mistake. I guess that is what happens when one's system thrives by fragmenting the Word of God.Well, enough for now.
Labels: Chaferism, Free Grace Theology
Thursday, August 14, 2008
We can not approach scripture without seeing that those who truely come to Christ in faith experience conversion, a changed life. We can not approach scripture without seeing that those who come to Christ in faith also enter into a relationship of obedience to Him. See 1 Peter1:2 "for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ". The sprinkling of blood in this verse not only speaks of giving believers perfect atonement for sin, but also is speaking of entering into a relationship of obedience to Christ as Lord and Master. The language here of "sprinkling blood" brings to mind Exodous 24:3-8 where the people promised to do all that the LORD had commanded. Then Moses sprinkled them with blood - they were now in covenant to obey God.
No where in scripture does one come to Christ without coming into a place of obeying Him-Nowhere! The calls to salvation and to disciplship are one. Nowhere in scripture is there a division. Such a view is unscriptural and deadly. That view is 1 part exegetical and 99 parts logic. Logic is a great mistress, but a terrible slave owner.
One should be able to lead a person to Christ in Matthew, Mark and Luke just as easily as they can through John. How did the "synoptics" present the message of salvation? Merely by Jesus saying "Follow Me".As someone else has said, " no repentance = no faith = no salvation"!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
In spite of all the biblical revelation and empirical evidence to the contrary, many people in our culture today are convinced that man is born basically good. As a result of this thinking many churches and preachers present the gospel as a mere call for ‘basically good sinners’ to accept the unconditional love that Jesus Christ already has for them. God’s wrath against human sin is not considered significant and repentance marginalized. There are even some that think that repentance should not even be included or mentioned in a gospel presentation. After all, why should a person that is ‘basically good’ need to repent to God who, they say, unconditionally loves all of humanity. (God’s love for his redeemed is unconditional, but for unbelievers to be told this love includes them without mentioning sin and wrath is a huge disservice to their eternal security.) Not only is repentance unnecessary in the thinking of some, but a Christian can continue to live ungodly and unrighteous lives for the rest of their years safe and secure in a salvation based on a momentary decision of belief. This view has a man made decision of belief, without any sincerity or repentance, binding God to responding with a get out of hell free card.
Paul in verse 18 answers this false teaching loud and clear. They are WRONG and are suppressing the truth of the extent of their depravity and ungodliness. The truth is that the extent of the depravity of ALL mankind is extremely severe and Paul begins to expound on that truth in this verse. Because of this ungodliness, the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven. God, who is holy and just, is extremely angry with the sin of humanity and his wrath is a righteous anger that his justice demands must be satisfied. On the cross of Calvary Jesus received the full brunt of God’s wrath and anger. This was an amazing display of God’s love and also His wrath and righteous anger for human sin. Sinners should understand that the cross indicates that human sin is a very serious problem and that a “so-called” salvation that does not result in a gratitude that addresses unrighteousness and ungodliness is pure folly. Romans 8 reveals that nature has also been subjected to futility and decay and the photo above confirms that even the atmosphere is capable of producing violent outbursts. There was no lightning in the Garden of Eden and there will be no lightning in the new earth and new heavens.
While his wrath is great, praise God that he provided a covering, of the righteousness of Christ, for all that flee to the cross of Calvary.
Friday, August 8, 2008
(Wayne, I hope you don't mind that I post this here...)
I hardly ever watch TV. But during the Olympics that is a different story. All this to say that during the next two weeks I shall be shutting down my blog. Also, in that time I won't be watching for emails. I simply can't give my family their just due of my attention if I were to try to watch the Olympics as well as spend time on the computer. It's just not do-able.
Those of my friends who have my phone number please feel free to give me a call. I love talking to you. However I must work every day from now to August 16, 3-11 PM, eastern. The best time to call would be from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM, eastern.
The Lord willing I shall see you in two weeks.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
14(A)Pursue peace with all men, and the (B)sanctification without which no one will (C)see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 (English Standard Version)English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
14(A) Strive for peace with everyone, and for the(B) holiness(C) without which no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 (New King James Version)New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
Question: Where would the so called "carnal Christian" stand here?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
In the book of Romans, Paul begins to explain the gospel in Rom. 1:18 by first giving the bad news of the unrighteousness of men before God. He continues through Rom. 3:20 with the bad news of the sinful and helpless state of all men, both Jew and Gentile. After explaining the condition of all men before God in Chapter 1, he turns his attention to the Jews in Chapter 2. Although the Jewish people had the law of God, Paul makes it clear the law condemns them because they were unable to keep it. Thus, Jews and Gentiles are both in trouble in their standing before God.
In Rom. 2:5 Paul states that they are storing up wrath for themselves for the day when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He also says the Gentiles are in the same boat because, although they do not have the law, they by nature do what the law requires. In other words they have a God given sense of right and wrong. In Chapter 2 of Romans, Paul has not yet gotten to an explanation of grace alone through faith alone; therefore, he is talking about unbelieving Gentiles and unbelieving Jews. He is talking about unregenerate sinners who have not been saved by grace. In Romans 2:6, Paul explains their works will determine their eternal state. In verse 7 he is clearly talking about obtaining eternal life by works. This of course is a mission impossible as Paul goes on to state in Romans 3:20. Therefore, no one will be saved by their works and no one will be saved by Romans 2:7 since no one can merit eternal life through patience in well doing.
Once Paul begins to introduce the gospel beginning in Romans 3:21, he explains how Christians who have been regenerated and are in Christ by faith will NOT have their eternal destiny determined by their works. Believers will have eternal life based on being in Christ through faith (Romans 8:1), and not by their own works. They will be covered by the righteousness of Christ and justified by His righteousness. If they stood before God’s throne clothed in their own righteousness for judgment, they would suffer the same fate as unbelievers who do have to stand before God with their own righteousness.
Yet, many assert that Romans 2:7 is referring to both unbelievers and believers. They state that unbelievers will fail to have the works to receive eternal life, whereas believers will have works that demonstrate their faith is genuine. However, you cannot get away from the fact that this text in context is judging works for eternal life and not the genuineness of a person’s faith. So, to assert that this passage includes a believer’s works of sanctification is to say that God judges the genuineness of faith by works and awards eternal life based on works of sanctification. This is wrong, as eternal life is all grace and is a gift from God without works (Eph. 2:8-9). Certainly genuine faith comes from regenerated believers who produce works, and there is also a false dead faith as James explains in James 2:14, but Romans 2:7 is referring to God giving eternal life based on works. Paul explains to unsaved Jews in verse 12 that everyone who attempts to justify himself under the law will be judged by the law [works]. He states it very clearly in Romans 3:20 which launches him into explaining justification by faith alone.
Since the reformed faith holds that God knows those who are His (Romans 8:29-30) and affirms justification by faith alone, God certainly does not need to judge works of sanctification to determine who are truly elect. If Romans 2:7 could save even one person Sola Fida is untrue, and Paul would not have said in Galatians 3:2-3 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? (3) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Later in Romans 8 Paul explains fully that the law kills and the Spirit gives life. Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Being in the flesh and approaching God through one’s own works is spiritual death, but being in Christ sets one free from the law and being judged by one’s own works.
Justification is by faith alone and this precludes God’s judgment of works for eternal life through Romans 2:7 from applying to regenerated blood bought believers who are covered in the righteousness of Christ. TRUE FREE GRACE saves sinners totally and completely.
Any other thoughts?
Saturday, July 19, 2008
2 Corinthians 7:9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
The believers of the Church of Corinth repented. They did not remain carnal, but were convicted of sin and repented. This is exactly what reformed theology asserts. All the writers of the New Testament affirm the same principle. Lordship sanctification happens to all Christians unless they are providentially prevented from doing so!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
He said……. "I cannot tell you specifically why one individual believes in Him and one does not."
Can anyone answer why some believe and others don’t? Certainly Calvinists have an answer, but can anyone who is not a Calvinist give us an answer? Is it intelligence, goodness, common sense, spiritual discernment or something else?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
2 Corinthians 3:5-18 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
No lordship sanctification, no regeneration! No regeneration, no salvation!
Monday, July 14, 2008
By R. C. Sproul
One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in a seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters: "Regeneration Precedes Faith."
These words were a shock to my system. I had entered seminary believing that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought that we first had to believe in Christ in order to be born again. I use the words in order here for a reason. I was thinking in terms of steps that must be taken in a certain sequence. I had put faith at the beginning. The order looked something like this:
"Faith - rebirth -justification."
I hadn’t thought that matter through very carefully. Nor had I listened carefully to Jesus’ words to Nicodemus. I assumed that even though I was a sinner, a person born of the flesh and living in the flesh, I still had a little island of righteousness, a tiny deposit of spiritual power left within my soul to enable me to respond to the Gospel on my own. Perhaps I had been confused by the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome, and many other branches of Christendom, had taught that regeneration is gracious; it cannot happen apart from the help of God.
No man has the power to raise himself from spiritual death. Divine assistance is necessary. This grace, according to Rome, comes in the form of what is called prevenient grace. "Prevenient" means that which comes from something else. Rome adds to this prevenient grace the requirement that we must "cooperate with it and assent to it" before it can take hold in our hearts.
This concept of cooperation is at best a half-truth. Yes, the faith we exercise is our faith. God does not do the believing for us. When I respond to Christ, it is my response, my faith, my trust that is being exercised. The issue, however, goes deeper. The question still remains: "Do I cooperate with God's grace before I am born again, or does the cooperation occur after?" Another way of asking this question is to ask if regeneration is monergistic or synergistic. Is it operative or cooperative? Is it effectual or dependent? Some of these words are theological terms that require further explanation.
A monergistic work is a work produced singly, by one person. The prefix mono means one. The word erg refers to a unit of work. Words like energy are built upon this root. A synergistic work is one that involves cooperation between two or more persons or things. The prefix syn -
means "together with." I labor this distinction for a reason. The debate between Rome and Luther hung on this single point. At issue was this: Is regeneration a monergistic work of God or a synergistic work that requires cooperation between man and God? When my professor wrote "Regeneration precedes faith" on the blackboard, he was clearly siding with the monergistic answer. After a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step is the work of God and of God alone.
The reason we do not cooperate with regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we can- not. We cannot because we are spiritually dead. We can no more assist the Holy Spirit in the quickening of our souls to spiritual life than Lazarus could help Jesus raise him for the dead.
When I began to wrestle with the Professor's argument, I was surprised to learn that his strange-sounding teaching was not novel. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield - even the great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas taught this doctrine. Thomas Aquinas is the Doctor Angelicus of the Roman Catholic Church. For centuries his theological teaching was accepted as official dogma by most Catholics. So he was the last person I expected to hold such a view of regeneration. Yet Aquinas insisted that regenerating grace is operative grace, not cooperative grace. Aquinas spoke of prevenient grace, but he spoke of a grace that comes before faith, which is regeneration.
These giants of Christian history derived their view from Holy Scripture. The key phrase in Paul's Letter to the Ephesians is this: "...even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved)" (Eph. 2:5). Here Paul locates the time when regeneration occurs. It takes place 'when we were dead.' With one thunderbolt of apostolic revelation all attempts to give the initiative in regeneration to man are smashed. Again, dead men do not cooperate with grace. Unless regeneration takes place first, there is no possibility of faith.
This says nothing different from what Jesus said to Nicodemus. Unless a man is born again first, he cannot possibly see or enter the kingdom of God. If we believe that faith precedes regeneration, then we set our thinking and therefore ourselves in direct opposition not only to giants of Christian history but also to the teaching of Paul and of our Lord Himself.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
by J.I. Packer
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” JOHN 3:3
Regeneration is a New Testament concept that grew, it seems, out of a parabolic picture-phrase that Jesus used to show Nicodemus the inwardness and depth of the change that even religious Jews must undergo if they were ever to see and enter the kingdom of God, and so have eternal life (John 3:3-15). Jesus pictured the change as being “born again.”
The concept is of God renovating the heart, the core of a person’s being, by implanting a new principle of desire, purpose, and action, a dispositional dynamic that finds expression in positive response to the gospel and its Christ. Jesus’ phrase “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5) harks back to Ezekiel 36:25-27, where God is pictured as symbolically cleansing persons from sin’s pollution (by water) and bestowing a “new heart” by putting his Spirit within them. Because this is so explicit, Jesus chides Nicodemus, “Israel’s teacher,” for not understanding how new birth happens (John 3:9-10). Jesus’ point throughout is that there is no exercise of faith in himself as the supernatural Savior, no repentance, and no true discipleship apart from this new birth.
Elsewhere John teaches that belief in the Incarnation and Atonement, with faith and love, holiness and righteousness, is the fruit and proof that one is born of God (1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4). It thus appears that as there is no conversion without new birth, so there is no new birth without conversion.
Though infant regeneration can be a reality when God so purposes (Luke 1:15, 41-44), the ordinary context of new birth is one of effectual calling—that is, confrontation with the gospel and illumination as to its truth and significance as a message from God to oneself. Regeneration is always the decisive element in effectual calling.
Regeneration is monergistic: that is, entirely the work of God the Holy Spirit. It raises the elect among the spiritually dead to new life in Christ (Eph. 2:1-10). Regeneration is a transition from spiritual death to spiritual life, and conscious, intentional, active faith in Christ is its immediate fruit, not its immediate cause. Regeneration is the work of what Augustine called “prevenient” grace, the grace that precedes our outgoings of heart toward God.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Those he called he also justified. Everyone God calls is justified (saved). Since everyone is not saved, then this passage indicates that God does not call everyone with this 100% effectual call. This same principle is also taught in John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. and John 6:65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” All who are quickened by God come and those who are not quickened cannot come to saving faith. They cannot because they are dead in sin and do not want to come (Eph. 2:1-5). However, those who are regenerated come willingly due to their changed nature. They come to repentance and saving faith by the power of God and that is why repentance and faith are gifts from God. This is TRUE FREE GRACE because God gives all that he requires for salvation. No one can boast by claiming their independent human decision made the final decision apart from God (Eph. 2:8-9). The error of resistible grace is that God calls and through independent human will, some come and some reject God. However, Many Scripture passages declare that God sovereignly intervenes and causes such a change through regeneration that men are irresistible drawn to faith in Christ.
Does man act and God respond or does God act and man respond? That is the bottom line of this debate and Scripture over and over asserts that it is God who acts and man who responds as is also shown in the following passages:
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Acts 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.
Praise God that he acts and causes sinners to be born again by breathing spiritual life into a spiritual corpse.
Am I correct in my view that The Holy Spirit is perfect and undefeated in bringing sinners willingly to faith?
Or, does the Holy Sprit try bring 100% of all the people that ever lived to faith but and simply fails to get it done?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
1) What good is it: What benefit or advantage is it.
2) my brothers: professing believers to whom James wrote.
3) if someone: The someone that James is speaking about here could be anyone anywhere and is not limited to this audience he called brothers. The whole world would be covered by James use of the term someone.
4) if someone says he has faith: James is speaking of a professed claim of faith. He did not say if anyone has faith, but if anyone SAYS he has faith. If he were speaking of a genuine faith he would not have a reason to have added the word “says”.
5) but does not have works?: The description is complete as James is talking about someone who claims to have faith but does not have works. The question is complete. James is asking about someone who claims to have faith, but gives no indication that he has been born again with the attributes that genuine true believers have when they are made into a new creation by the hand of God the Holy Spirit.
6) Can that faith save him?: The “that faith” James is referring to is not a genuine faith but a claimed false faith. This is a rhetorical question with the obvious answer of no. James is not contradicting justification by faith alone. He is making a distinction between how a born again spirit indwelled believer responds to grace and how a hypocrite who claims to have faith responds to a dead worthless false faith.
The obvious answer to the rhetorical question James poses is that such a claimed faith is no good because it is not genuine and does not save. However, genuine faith is wrought by the power of God in regeneration and saves completely. This leads to sanctification by a believer who has a new nature with new desires and a new attitude. All genuine believers are not only changed by regeneration, they are also led by the indwelling Spirit (Romans 8:14). As a result genuine believers will have attributes that are distinguishable from those who have a false dead faith.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
1) verse 12: Those who received Christ through faith are justified and adopted as children of God
2) verse 13: Explains how it happened by first telling how it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen by blood through ancestry. It didn’t happen by the will of the flesh, which is to say that unregenerate man cannot quicken his own nature. It didn’t happen by the will of man period. HOW did it happen? Those who believed were born of God. God had intervened and imparted spiritual life and a new nature (2 Cor 5:17). This is also shown in the following passages:
Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
God made these sinners alive who were dead and unresponsive.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
God acted and made dead sinners alive while they were still spiritually dead. Sinners do not make themselves alive and come to faith and then have God cause them to be born again and give them a new nature. This would be like a Doctor withholding treatment until a patient got well and then giving them the medicine they needed to be cured. No, without God’s regenerating cure of making sinners spiritually alive, sinners would not respond. However, all (100%) that God regenerates are brought to spiritual life and willingly respond in faith (John 6:37). Jesus compares regeneration to the wind in John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” No one knows where it comes from or where it is going. This rules out the view that man achieves faith and God responds by then being obligated to regenerate the new believer. This view contradicts Jesus and would amount to man getting himself born again by his own wise free will decision of faith. That is why Paul says in Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
If man controls his own regeneration, then Jesus would have said, “the wind blows where man decides by believing in me and we know it goes to all who believe in me.” But he didn’t. He said the wind like the Spirit goes where IT wishes. Brethren this is the TRUE FREE GRACE of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have not received this grace, then don't delay. Repent and believe in Jesus Christ today!
Any other opinions? Anyone?
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Two kinds of Christians? Might just as well rewrite Romans 8 - you know, like put a whole lot of qualifying statements in there. For example: Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God... should read "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God (though some might go on to be carnal, and therefore this verse should not necessarily be used to define all Christians) these are the sons of God".
You get the point.
A great paper on the subject can be found here...
Friday, July 4, 2008
We learned from John 3:3 that regeneration is required for a sinner to be saved. Saved sinners are referred to as being in Christ. (Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.) What has regeneration accomplished in the sinner? Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that a saved sinner is a new creation. The old has passed away and the new has come. Paul is talking about a drastic change in a person’s life that is wrought by the Holy Spirit in a person’s very soul. He has a new attitude, desires, likes, and dislikes. Old desires and old ways of relating to the world have passed away. Paul said “IF” anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. It then follows, if anyone is not a new creation and is completely unchanged by his profession of faith, then he is not in Christ and he is not saved because he has not been regenerated. A new Christian may be immature for a while, but this will not be a permanent condition because of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.) Believers are no longer enslaved by sin due to God’s work of regeneration and the indwelling Holy Spirit. The old has passed away. (Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.) God’s work of regeneration not only vanquishes the old, it brings in the new. (Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.)
A Christian is a new creation who has been changed from a slave of sin to a slave of righteousness by the awesome power of God. It is a power that does not fail. To assert that a Christian can be unchanged and remain a slave to sin is not only unbiblical, it insults God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Would anyone like to argue that regeneration is necessary, but may leave a true believer unchanged to wallow in his sin? Anyone?
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It is clear from this passage that one must be born again to be saved and to even see the kingdom of God. If he can be saved without being born again, then this passage is in error. In verse 5 Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Therefore, God must perform a spiritual work on a sinner in order for him to be saved (justified). From John 3 we can conclude the following:
1) Being born again (regeneration) is applied by God and men do not know from where it comes or where it goes.
2) One must be born again to see the kingdom of God.
3) One must be born again to be saved (justified)
Does anyone disagree?
Next we will look at the effects and power of regeneration.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
This caught me eye. You see, the whole question is silly from my perspective. Let me briefly explain.
If there is no Christian God then of course I was never saved...and neither are you. This is what I now maintain.
If the question is whether I believed in Christ and the gospel message, professed it, and spread it, then I did. I believed the message even if now I claim the message is false and delusionary.
The only kind of Christians we ever see are professing Christians. As far as I can tell you are professing Christians, and that's all you can say about yourselves, even if the Gospel is true.
So to say I was never a professing Christian is obviously false, because I was, just like you. To say I have not committed the unforgiven sin goes against any good interpretation of the relevant biblical texts. But to say that a professing Christian who's faith was not just to the bone, but to the very marrow, means your God rejected me when I believed in him and accepted with everything in me the gospel of grace. That, my friends, is a callous and indifferent God unworthy of nothing more than disgust from me.
My response to his comment from a Calvinist perspective:
Thanks for your visit.
But to say that a professing Christian who's faith was not just to the bone, but to the very marrow, means your God rejected me when I believed in him and accepted with everything in me the gospel of grace.
The contributors here are Calvinists. As such we do not believe in salvation as you describe it. Men through human decision do not accept the gospel of grace apart from God causing it through regeneration. Therefore, God does not reject those he effectually calls and gives the gift of faith. Your professed faith was not wrought by God the Holy Spirit and was a false faith. As you put yourself, it was a delusion. You have made a correct judgment about your faith being delusional and have assumed that everyone else with faith must also be delusional. Unless you are really an agnostic posing as an atheist, you have simply exchanged a faith in God for a faith in nonsense. To place your faith in an uncaused cause other than a supreme intelligent being is to embrace the ultimate in hocus pocus magic.
From an Arminian perspective a real problem is raised:
Arminianism asserts that faith precedes regeneration and once a sinner believes God, then He regenerates and causes them to be born again. This atheist is charging that God rejected him when he believed with everything in him. This is not a hypothetical situation. This is real and under the Arminian concept of salvation he has a valid complaint. He is basically saying that he did his part by believing and God failed to regenerate and change his heart.
I gave the Calvinist explanation to this real situation. The Zane Hodges theology answer is that he is saved even as an atheist.
Can anyone give me the Arminian answer to his objection? Anyone?
Monday, June 30, 2008
Free grace proponent answer: However, if any of them did happen to believe the message as stated by Jesus and Paul, and are now atheists, of course I would say they are saved.
The Bible of course says otherwise.
Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Would the Spirit of God be powerless to keep a believer from becoming a Christian mocking atheist? Anyone?
John 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Are we to believe that some of the sheep of Jesus do not follow him and in fact turn on him?
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Are we to believe that eternal life goes to some who don’t know and in fact deny and mock Jesus?
John 17:15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Are we to believe that this prayer of Jesus went unanswered?
Are we to believe in a powerless gospel that is a mere offer of eternal life, but has no power to sanctify? Are we to believe a person who has truly been regenerated by God’s power and come to saving faith will turn to atheism and remain a mocking unbeliever for the rest of his life? I could go on and on with Scripture passages, but I will stop. True free grace comes with power. There is power in the blood!
Please offer up your comments on this powerless and distorted gospel that certainly qualifies as being “another gospel”!
Friday, June 27, 2008
The following is an excerpt from the above sermon. Sermon number (No. 2267)
Well, dear friends, if we have been quickened, we have been quickened from above. "You hath HE quickened." God himself has had dealings with us. He has raised us from the dead. He made us at the first; he has new-made us. He gave us life when we were born; but he has given us now a higher life, which could not be found anywhere else. He must always give it. No man ever made himself to live. No preacher, however earnest, can make one hearer to live. No parent, however prayerful, no teacher, however tearful, can make a child live unto God. "You hath HE quickened," is true of all who are quickened. It is a divine spark, a light from the great central Sun of light, the great Father of Lights. Is it so with us? Have we had a divine touch, a superhuman energy, a something which all the learning and all the wisdom and all the godliness of man could never work in us? Have we been quickened from above? If so, I daresay that we remember something of it. We cannot describe it; no man can describe his first birth; it remains a mystery. Neither can he describe his new birth; that is still a greater mystery, for it is a secret inward work of the Holy Ghost, of which we feel the effect, but we cannot tell how it is wrought.
Monday, June 23, 2008
He made distinctions between believers, disciples, and Christians. I will give both definitions that he gave for Christian. He said the following at various places in the thread:
1) There are believers that are not disciples of Christ.
2) There are believers that are disciples of Christ.
3) There are unbelievers that are disciples of Christ.
4) Christian definition #1: I also believe there are born again believers who are not Christians. A Christian is not just a born again believer but a baptized disciple of Christ.
5) Christian definition #2: A Christian, of course, is a person who has been born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for the free gift of eternal life.
One definition of Christian requires being born again through faith and the other specifically says this is not enough because it also requires being a baptized disciple. Since discipleship may take a while in his theology, this brings up a possible long delay in administering baptism. These conflicting statements on the definition of a Christian brings up the possibility of having a view that must be forced through a Zane Hodges template, rather than having a foundation that remains the same regardless of what Scripture passage you are interpreting.
Some of his other views:
1) Christian disciples may drop out and not finish the race.
2) Only by abiding will we experience resurrection life, giving our dead bodies life and that is a choice we make moment by moment. (note: In fairness, I asked for clarification on this and still do not understand his view)
3) After being born again: Here in a nutshell we have the fundamental problem of Christian living. Every Christian inhabits a dead body. It (the body) is still infected by the deadly virus of sin, and as a result is completely unresponsive to the new life the Christian now posses.
4) Concerning the Great Commission I believe it was completed in their day, they turned the world upside down.
Any comments or thoughts?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
In a previous thread,
I asked: “Do human beings have any attribute that is not from God?"
Her answer: No
Conclusion: We are in agreement that all physical abilities, personality traits, and decision making abilities are gifts from God.
I asked: “Are you saying everything we have comes from God except the ability to make the crucial important decision of coming to faith in Christ?"
Her answer: No, that's not what I'm saying. Everything we have does come from God and we all have faith. It just depends upon where we place that faith. We must place our faith in Jesus to save us from our sin. We wouldn't naturally seek Him, but thankfully He seeks us and this enables people to respond positively to the gospel.
Conclusion: We are in agreement that God enables people to respond positively to the gospel. We are in agreement that some respond with faith and some do not respond in faith.
I asked: "...then what causes some men of equal background to respond and others not to respond?"
Her answer: Only God knows the answer to that one; however, He did tell us that it was a matter of the heart.
Conclusion: We are in agreement that it is a matter of the heart.
From our points of agreement I can assert………..
Since God enables people to respond positively, and every attribute people have comes from God including their mental abilities and decisions of the heart, then we can logically say the following two things:
1) People come to faith in Jesus because he enabled them and gave them the heart necessary to respond.
2) People do not come to faith in Jesus because they are not enabled or because God did not give them the heart necessary to respond.
Scripture also confirms this conclusion:
Acts 16:14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
John 6:65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."
Can anyone show how they came to faith in Jesus in and of themselves apart from God changing their heart or giving them whatever attribute they used to come to faith?
Saturday, June 21, 2008
You preach, brethren, with this object, that men may quit their sins, and fly to Christ for pardon, that by His blessed Spirit they may be renovated, and become as much in love with everything that is holy as they are now in love with everything that is sinful. You aim at a radical cure; the axe is laid at the root of the trees; the amendment of the old nature would not content you, but you seek for the imparting, by a divine power, of a new nature, that those who gather round you in the streets may live unto God.
Our object is to turn the world upside down; or, in other words, that where sin abounded grace may much more abound. We are aiming at a miracle: it is well to settle that at the commencement. Some brethren think that they ought to lower their note to the spiritual ability of the hearer; but this is a mistake. According to these brethren, you ought not to exhort a man to repent and believe unless you believe that he can, of himself, repent and believe. My reply is a confession: I command men in the name of Jesus to repent and believe the gospel, though I know they can do nothing of the kind apart from the grace of God; for I am not sent to work according to what my private reason might suggest, but according to the orders of my Lord and Master. Ours is the miraculous method which comes of the endowment of the Spirit of God, who bids His ministers perform wonders in the name of the holy child Jesus. We are sent to say to blind eyes, "See," to deaf ears, "Hear," to dead hearts, "Live," and even to Lazarus rotting in that grave, wherein, by this time, he stinketh,—"Lazarus, come forth." Dare we do this?
Friday, June 20, 2008
In this passage that is referred to as the Great Commission, Jesus gave us the marching orders for evangelism and missions. He said we are to go and make disciples and to teach the disciples to observe all that I have commanded you. That seems simple enough. Yet the GES (also called Free Grace theology) group accuses Reformed Theology of adding works to justification by faith alone if we teach anyone to obey the commandments of Christ. For example, they assert to even mention repentance in a gospel presentation is adding works to being saved. In short they warn that you must be careful to not give too much information.
What do you think?
Is it possible to give too much truthful information when evangelizing the lost?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
It is a very great fault in any ministry if the doctrine of justification by faith alone be not most clearly taught. I will go further, and add, that it is not only a great fault, but a fatal one; for souls will never find their way to heaven by a ministry that is indistinct upon the most fundamental of gospel truths.
The merit by which a soul enters heaven is not its own; it is the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am quite sure that you will all hold me guiltless of ever having spoken about this great doctrine in any other than unmistakable language; if I have erred, it is not in that direction.
At the same time, it is a dangerous state of things if doctrine is made to drive out precept, and faith is held up as making holiness a superfluity. Sanctification must not be forgotten or overlaid by justification. We must teach plainly that the faith which saves the soul is not a dead faith, but a faith which operates with purifying effect upon our entire nature, and produces in us fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God.
It is not by personal holiness that a man shall enter heaven, but yet without holiness shall no man see the Lord. It is not by good works that we are justified, but if a man shall continue to live an ungodly life, his "faith" will not justify him; for it is not the faith of God's elect; since that faith is wrought by the Holy Spirit, and conforms men to the image of Christ.
We must learn to place the legal precepts in their right position. They are not the base of the column, but they are the capital of it. Precepts are not given to us as a way to obtain life, but as the way in which to exhibit life.
The commands of Christ are not upon the legal tenor of "this do and live," but upon the gospel system of "live and do this." We are not to be attentive to the precepts in order to be saved, but because we are saved. Our master motive is to be gratitude to him who has saved us with a great salvation.
I am sure that every renewed heart here will feel no opposition to the most holy precepts of our Lord. However severely pure that law may seem to be which we have read just now from this fifth chapter of Matthew, our hearts agree with it, and we ask that we may be so renewed that our lives may be conformed to it. The regenerate never rebel against any precept, saying, "This, is too pure;" on the contrary, our new-born nature is enamoured of its holiness, and we cry, "Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes."
Even though we find that when we would do good evil is present with us, yet our inmost soul longs after holiness, and pines to be delivered from every evil way. At any rate, Dear friends, if it be not so with you, you may well question whether you are indeed the children of God. My desire, this morning, is to insist upon the precepts which tend to holiness, and I pray the Holy Spirit to excite desires after a high degree of purity in all believing, hearts.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Answer: Obviously yes.
Then wouldn't it be by God’s partiality for Paul to reject God’s grace and get saved while many others reject God’s grace and perish?
If all that are saved are saved by God’s mercy and intervention apart from any attribute that was God given, then there is no partiality. God would be both just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus Christ because of the gift of faith to them (Rom. 3:26). He would also be just to those He does not extend mercy. All would have perished had He not given His mercy and none who received His mercy had any advantage over those who didn’t. Those chosen for salvation were not chosen because of any attribute in them. There is no partiality and no human being would have been saved in and of themselves due to a God given attribute such as intelligence or righteousness. That is why Paul can say that there is no injustice on God’s part in Romans 9:14. This is TRUE FREE GRACE!
ARMINIAN AND NON-CALVINIST VIEW:
However, if many perish because they reject God’s resistible grace and Paul was saved because God intervened with irresistible grace then Paul was shown partiality. One may claim that Paul had special qualities that God wanted to use to build his church as the reason. That is probably true, but one must then consider where Paul got those special qualities. The answer is God and you are still left with partiality on God’s part because Paul's rejection of God was overuled by God while many others rejection of God resulted in hell.
How can this dilemma be reconciled and God not be partial in the non-Calvinist view?
Answer: I think it is important to remember that God has a perceptive will and a decretive will. He has also given man a free will that is not forced. He allows man to reject his perceptive will. For example He said “Do not murder”, but men murder. Being sovereign, He also has a will of decree or decretive will that accomplishes all that He intends even through the evil of men. For example, Joseph told his brothers, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good……..” and also the crucifixion of Jesus was by God’s set plan and purpose. This will is accomplished.
As to salvation, God does desire, in his perceptive will, that everyone would be saved. For example, Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! “ (Mt. 23:37)
He has given a sincere offer to all. For example:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Therefore, God does not reject anyone who comes with true saving faith to salvation. Unless one believes in universalism, some people are not and will not be saved regardless of the true meaning of election. What if the Bible teaches that man will not come to saving faith if left to his own free will and fallen nature? What if God decided to use his will of decree to intervene and save some who would not be saved otherwise?
If this is true, then this is True Free Grace because God sovereignly saves sinners who would not otherwise be saved. God does it all by changing through regeneration the hearts of men and bringing them willingly to saving faith in Christ. What marvelous grace this would be! This is true free grace and is what Calvinists believe.
We should by all means pray for and witness to our families and everyone else since we have no idea whom God will quicken and bring to faith. Perhaps such burning desire for someone’s salvation is what God uses to bring his elect to salvation. That is why Calvinism places such a great emphasis on evangelism and missions.
Any other comments or thoughts???
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Therefore, If Paul were not teaching unconditional election, why would he say the following in Romans 9:14 "What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!" This is the same objection we here today about election. Why would Paul answer an objection about election immediately after verses 11-13 if he weren’t teaching predestination and election?
What do you think? Anyone got an answer?