Monday, June 30, 2008

The Zane Hodges so-called free grace system affirms born again atheists!

I asked the following question to a free grace proponent concerning atheists: Some are even former pastors as the fellow who started the debunking Christianity blog. This is a real situation and a real person. Would this fellow be saved if he debunks Christianity for the remainder of his life or would he have really just been an unsaved false professor of Christ?

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

Life from the Dead - Spurgeon

A Sermon(No. 2267)Intended for Reading on Lord's-day, July 31st, 1892,Delivered byC. H. SPURGEON,At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, NewingtonOn Thursday Evening, March 13th, 1890.

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

Strange views of a Zane Hodges free grace theology proponent

While skimming the thread of a free grace blog, I became intrigued by the comments of a person who kept quoting from Zane Hodges books as well as Scripture passages. I have noticed that people who follow this “easy believism” theology never seem to use other commentaries. I would like to throw out for discussion some of the things this person asserted in this thread. I say some because this post will not cover all of the, shall we say, unorthodox views that were presented in this thread.

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

The Only Logical Conclusion

We have had a spirited debate with an Arminian in a few of the threads preceding this post. I have great admiration for the zeal and perseverance of this person. She gives no quarter and hangs in there with the best of them. However, I believe we have reached a point in this debate where this person has essentially confirmed unconditional election without actually saying it.

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

Spurgeon on how to win souls for Christ

Following up on the last post with some Spurgeon wisdom.........

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

Too Much Information!!!!

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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

A Call to Holy Living - Spurgeon

"A Call to Holy Living"—a sermon first preached on Sunday morning, 14 January 1872, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

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

Did the Apostle Paul receive partiality from God in his salvation?

Question: Did God sovereignly intervene and cause Saul’s conversion with irresistible grace?
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!

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?


Does God reject anyone with true saving faith?

Question: Why would ANY of us wish ALL of our families to be saved if GOD doesn't wish ALL of our families to be saved?

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???

by: jazzycat

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Unconditional election question

Paul, as we know, precluded objections in his epistles by addressing them before anyone could object.

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?

Monday, June 16, 2008

True Free Grace

True free grace is applied by God with power. This results in a changed heart that willingly responds with saving faith in Jesus Christ alone. However, God’s powerful grace does not end here, but produces sanctifying works in the born again Christian.