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?


Dawn said...

God enables everyone by drawing them (John 12:32 all men, including all kinds of men). Where in Acts 16:14 does it state that Lydia's heart was CHANGED?

jazzycat said...

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Since all (100%) of men that have ever lived do not come, then whatever God did for Lydia, he does not do for all (100%). We can quibble over exactly what God does in the effectual call, but many Scripture passages point to God's perfect intervention in bringing some to saving faith.

jazzycat said...

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

In this passage Paul is talking about God doing something by intervention and people being saved. Since all do not get saved, then this unilateral action by God does not go out to (100%). Paul calls this grace. Grace that is totally from God. That is why Paul says in Romans that, "it depends not on human will."

Again, what attribute of the heart did you use to come to faith that you did not receive from God?

Dawn said...

You don't want to answer my questions so I'm not going to answer yours. Thanks for the dialogue.

jazzycat said...

My first comment on this thread looks like an answer to me.....

Thanks Dawn