[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

How Much Information is Really Needed?

by Antonio da Rosa

Can a Traditionalist, Reformed, or Lordship Advocate tell me EXACTLY how much information needs to be known and believed before someone is truly saved? Give me a list of the orthodox doctrines that must be assented to.

Tell us what misconceptions are fatal to saving faith and which ones would be merely peripheral. What facts about Jesus must be assented to in order for this knowledge to specifically limit faith to the true Jesus?

Will one misconception or outright false belief about Jesus preclude one from trusting the true Jesus for salvation? If one holds innacurate convictions about some detail about Christ's temporal historicity are they believing in a different Jesus?

What are the exact things that need to be believed about Jesus before saving faith has been sufficiently limited to the one and only Jesus Christ, Son of God, the crucified and risen Savior?

----------

Let us say that you believed in Jesus for eternal life. Let us say that you trusted in Jesus for your eternal well-being. Let us say that you had faith in Jesus for justification.

But let us say that you didn't understand that He was God. Let us suppose you thought that the Scriptures showed Him to be a prophet. Let us say that you didn't understand his death or how He provided the free gift He offered you but which you believed in Him for.

When you stand before Jesus, is He going to say:

"You entrusted your eternal well-being and destiny to me when you believed on me for eternal life. But since you did not understand that I am God, it is off to the lake of fire for you! Since you did not understand or know the means by which I secured for you the gift that I offered freely, my angels will cast you into the abyss of hell!"

?

When you believe in the name of Jesus, you believe on One who is God, who has died and rose again, who was born of a virgin, who did walk on water, who ascended into heaven bodily, etc. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT AWARE, UNDERSTAND, OR BELIEVE THESE THINGS.

My daughter believes in me as her "Dad". As her dad I work at a Costco warehouse where I am a merchandiser. She doesn't know what I do there. She doesn't understand. She may even believe that I own the whole store and run it myself!

My daughter believes in me as her "Dad", as the one who provides for her, feeds her, clothes her, shelters her, etc. When she believes in me, she is believing in a man who is a merchant at a Costco, whether or not she knows what I do, have done, or has wild misconceptions about me.

She has trusted me as her dad and I provide for her. The means by which I can provide for her is not the issue. The issue is whether or not she is going to trust me as her dad, trust me for her well-being, and I will provide for her, or is she going to doubt in me, and worry, and be anxious about where she is going to find her well-being.

Jesus purchased a gift with His death and ratified it with his resurrection. He offers that gift freely to the one who entrusts his/her eternal well-being to Him. To understand how he is able to offer this gift and how He has the authority to do so will encourage trust in Him for the gift. But it is not NECESSARY to believe or know those things in order to receive the gift. To believe it is necessary, is to add MORE provisos and conditions on the gospel offer than Jesus does. Jesus says "Believe in Me and you HAVE eternal life". You believe in the Name, you believe in the Person, you are not asked to believe in individual attributes of the Person, but in the promise of eternal life/resurrection given by the Person Himself.

Antonio

73 Comments:

  • I totally agree, Antonio. Thanks for this post.

    Why do people not understand how simple this is?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 1:00:00 PM  

  • Think about this friend...the burden of proof is on you. One can reverse this and say, "What do we not need to believe about God in order to be saved." It is unchartered territory.

    What you are telling us now, is that we don't need to even believe what the Demons believe in order to be saved.

    "Jesus said, if you do not believe that I am He, you will perish in your sin."

    I am concerned about your view here.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 1:21:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    Great post.

    I think the church needs a new reformation where the Gospel of John becomes treated as binding.

    The Gospel of John does emphasize the divintiy of Christ but it doesn't weave that truth into the offer of eternal life.

    If John were understood and embraced we would be a different people, a far healthier church.

    God bless :)

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 2:32:00 PM  

  • "When you believe in the name of Jesus, you believe on One who is God, who has died and rose again, who was born of a virgin, who did walk on water, who ascended into heaven bodily, etc. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT AWARE, UNDERSTAND, OR BELIEVE THESE THINGS."

    This is where my concern is found. You say that one can 'believe in the name of Jesus' and yet even be aware that He has died and rose again.

    Now, I may be willing to exclude the divinity and the virgin birth from the whole requirement for salvation. MAY!

    But when you say that one needn't even believe that our LORD was crucified and buried and rose again, that is dangerous speak.

    Paul seems to suggest that it is the very death of Christ that is centrality of the gospel message.

    You seem to say that this death is superfluous to the gospel message.

    Paul says that he would know nothing except Christ and Him crucified.

    You seem to suggest that He need only know Christ.

    You are a merchandiser. Yes. But you may very well be a truck driver, or a delivery man. You are not by nature a merchandiser.

    Christ is Savior. He can be no other. If I know Him only as my LORD, then that will be the LORD that will nonetheless send me to hell. I must know Him as Savior, for Him to save me. And if I must know Him as Savior, then I must know what He did to save. Namely, gave His life.

    Let us not in effort to simplify the gospel hack away the important things that are vital to the Christian faith.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 3:16:00 PM  

  • H K Flynn, is it not the 'gospel' of John? Why would John feel so inclined to share with his readers all that 'extra' and superfluous materials if he didn't view them as necessity? Doesn't it strike you as queer that John would go to the extent to prove to his readers that Jesus is God within His gospel given that one needn't even know this fact? Why wouldn't we find the GOSPEL of John to be so mightily shortened to perhaps a single verse, a short little memo, only the basic necessities? Why all the fluff?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 3:46:00 PM  

  • Matthew, thank you. I hope all is well with your dyspraxic, slipper wearing, appertif consuming friend.

    Bhedr, it is most definitley not unchartered territory, and if it was, there could be no objective way to know if you know enough to qualify all the elements for this so called saving-faith.

    The gospel of John brings salvific truth down to a single proposition to be believed.

    Jodie, good to hear from you. I believe that your comment is right on target.

    Sofyst,

    I see that you don't take the challenge of answering my poignant questions starting off this post.

    From reading your comment, I can see you in my mind's eye sporting a check-list enumerating orthodox reformed doctrines, in the presence of a potential convert to Traditionalism, that, if not fully assented to, would preclude one from eternal life, resurrection, and any semblance of assurance of salvation.

    This would be presuming to require more than Jesus Himself does in the only evangelistic treatise in the Bible, the gospel of John.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 4:42:00 PM  

  • Antonio, Romans 10:9-10,'if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.'

    I have the same concern as sofyst, if we only believe in the name of Jesus and don't believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead, then we won't be saved, hence Jesus' death and resurrection are paramount to the gospel message.

    By Blogger Kitty Cheng, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 4:44:00 PM  

  • Kitty Cheng, thank you for your response! I love the interaction. Can I ask you a question?

    For a second, let us disregard the context of what Paul is saying in Romans chapters 9-11.

    Catholics, Mormons, and many other cults believe that Jesus "is Lord" and also that "God raised Him from the dead".

    Are the Catholics and Mormons going to heaven by virtue of their beliefs that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead?

    Also, I don't disagree that Jesus' death and resurrection are paramount to the gospel message, in all reality, they ARE the gospel message. But what is the PURPOSE of the gospel message? It is the good news of what Jesus has done for us. But many people of many different "Christian" traditions believe that gospel message and are on their way to hell. Why? Because the way to receive eternal life is by believing in Christ's promise to give you eternal life by your faith in Him.

    Although these Christian-esque denominations may or may not have orthodox doctrines and Christology, they are not completely entrusting their eternal destinies to Jesus, the Christ. They may believe orthodox doctrines and Christology, but they also believe that works are indispensible to reaching heaven.

    I hope these are a few things for you to chew on.

    God bless you!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 4:58:00 PM  

  • I am truly miffed and my soul is vexed. I would have though belief in the divinity of Christ would have enhanced your position on the gospel of John, but I see that I have been wrong. I am grateful to someone right now, for waking me up from embracing wholeheartedly your position.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 5:16:00 PM  

  • I believe that the Apostles were saved in the gospels, yet they did not fully understand whom Jesus was. They acknowledged He was the Christ (Jn. 1:41) yet did not comprehend His divinity,

    cf. Mark 4:41, “And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’"

    Is this a statement of belief that Jesus was God?

    Luke 8:25
    Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!"

    Don't they know that God commands the winds, the water, and everything else?

    Matt 8:277 So the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

    The men MARVELED. Why would they marvel if they understood Jesus to be God? They were marvelling that a MAN could do these things! Why would they ask who could this be, if they knew He was God?

    Throughout the gospels, the disiciples had a hard time understanding who Jesus was. If it is required that we believe that Jesus is God to be saved, the disciples sure don't give us that impression, nor is there one verse that says so. It doesn't say, "Believe that Jesus is God and this is the first step of being saved, then you must believe in his cross, then you must believe in his resurrection, then you need to put all your trust in Him, THEN you are saved".

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 5:28:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Arent you the dispensationalist? We have a more sure word in the written word as Peter said, then they had. Even then Peter confessed Christ was the Son of the living God.

    And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)

    Something occurs in the heart of man when they believe and a change of mind occurs and it is based around who the Son of God is and what he has done.Again, It is a change of mind about who God is and what he has done. There is an intimacy noted here that binds the heart as Zechariah prophecies.

    The Rich Young Ruler only thought Jesus to be a good teacher. Nicodemus approached God not fully understanding his deity, but Christ quickly assured him that he must be born again and then pointed directly to who he was and rocked him out of the earthly scientific mind into the heavenly.

    "If I have told you *earthly* things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but he who came down from heaven, that is, the *Son of Man* who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so *must* the Son of Man be lifted up." John 3:12-14.

    Its really not the Rocket science that you are making it out to be. I spoke this to the children at Church the other day and they had no problem believing this truth. I think Adults complicate it in so many differant ways I am discovering every day. Consider doing what Moses did in simply believing that making a bronze serpent would heal those whom he loved and instead lift up the Son of God and make him known so that others can be healed, when you witness from now on. If you do not properly exposite the gospel message and give understanding as Phillip gave to the Ethipian Eunich, then the hearer will fall short of understanding the glory of God. The Person of Christ has completed a work and we are accountable to believe in him by the hearing of the written word.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 6:11:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    My view of the scriptures is not limited to the gospel of John. I know someone who was saved by only reading the synoptics. I would argue the whole thesis of scripture is to provide an understanding of how to be saved, and what eternal life is all about–notice the inclusio of the tree of life found in Genesis and the tree of life found in Revelation.

    Having established above, that are understanding of salvation is not only to be found in the gospel of John let me quote Philippians 2:9-11:

    "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11. and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."

    The great kenosis passage! It seems that Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, believed that recognition of the fact that Jesus is YHWH is very very important (cf. Is. 45:23)!!

    Antonio said:

    "When you believe in the name of Jesus, you believe on One who is God, who has died and rose again, who was born of a virgin, who did walk on water, who ascended into heaven bodily, etc. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT AWARE, UNDERSTAND, OR BELIEVE THESE THINGS."

    What I've emboldened of your statement is most concerning to me, Antonio. So you are saying that someone can consciously deny the divinity of Christ, and be saved?

    And the problem with your Costco analogy is that your child wouldn't mistake you--because there aren't people claiming to be you (most likely ;). Contrarily, there are people and belief systems that forward different views of who Jesus is--thus asserting Jesus to be someone different than He claimed to be. How else is someone to distinguish between the Jesus who saves, and the Jesus who "damns"--if we don't have an adequate grid for discerning who the "real Jesus of faith" is?

    Your assertions make it sound like you believe someone who believes in the Ebionite heretical view of Jesus, or the LDS (mormon) Jesus can actually be saved by that Jesus! But I'm sure you're not saying that, right?

    BTW, the gospel of John is one of the most explicit gospels relative to establishing the divinity of Incarnate God--Jesus (cf. Jn 1:1; 14; 5:18; 14:6ff; 19:7; etc.).

    In Christ,

    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 7:08:00 PM  

  • Bobby, is space-time continuiity not a good starting point for consideringwhether one believes in the right Jesus?

    Surely one believes in the same Jesus if one believes in the Jesus who lived in the first century, who was born of a virgin, who wasa carpenters son, who was baptized by John the Baptist, who was tempted by Satan, who had twelve apostles and who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and rose again form the dead.

    If I affirm those things do I not believe in the real Jesus, even if I was under the false notion that Jesus was an angel or a superman?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:10:00 AM  

  • Antonio, if you were to see within your 'mind's eye' that I have some manner of list composed of reformed doctrines that I think one must know, then you should work on your vision problems. I did not answer your question as I haven't some manner of list. I do know there are requirements for what must be known for belief, but I don't know what they are.

    I am not of the opinion that precognate faith can occur. Otherwise, I think that God would have given this faith to infants and saved us all the trouble of coming to faith later.

    So, if there can be no such thing as precognant faith, then we are all in the same boat. We would all believe that there is something that needs to be known. Muddying the issue by claiming the reformed require some extra list while your camp sticks to the basics does not help at all.
    However, you still do not answer the question. And Kitty brings up another very nice verse making our question even more 'poignant'.

    Reformed or not, you cannot deny that the death and resurrection of Christ are given as essentials to the gospel message. Kitty's verse seems to prove this wonderfully.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 4:58:00 AM  

  • To Antonio and All readers,

    It’s never a pleasure to write as I’m writing now. To Antonio I offer my heart in sadness, and come to you as in humility, asking you to repent and stop the spreading of what is a heresy and the doctrine of demons. I’m surprised at the lack of shock on the part of Matthew, but instead saying:


    “I totally agree, Antonio. Thanks for this post.”

    Or,

    “If I affirm those things do I not believe in the real Jesus, even if I was under the false notion that Jesus was an angel or a superman?”

    Matthew, Are you sure? Is that what the scriptures have taught you? Would you also reconsider the possibility of error here?

    The spirit of anti-christ is present in this post and in many of the comments. I am not an alarmist kid. I know some may feel bruised right now, but truthfully, some times a bruise is a sign of something trying to save you from being hurt worse.

    Antonio said:

    “I believe that the Apostles were saved in the gospels, yet they did not fully understand whom Jesus was. They acknowledged He was the Christ (Jn. 1:41) yet did not comprehend His divinity,”

    Antonio, this was pre-Pentecost and under a different economy and Covenant where the salvation of men and women was by faith in “what was then revealed” and promised to those believing. These men were not in the church, were not yet New Covenant believers who were under the promise of life by faith in the “gospel of God” as is laid out in Romans. The attempt to make the people of the bridge between Old and New Covenants an example for doing theology today is not only confusing, but sinful and heretical. That’s what John MacArthur does in his version of extremism. But Hodges is just as extreme in the opposite direction. Both men have missed Pauline Theology in their rush to be right.

    Hodges teaches that the antichrists mentioned in 1 John 2:18-19, 22-23 could very well be saved people! The Epistles of John, pages 111-112.


    Hodges teaches that true Christians (those who are really saved) can be described as "children of the devil." Hodges says, "The question might be raised whether a truly regenerate person could ever be called a 'child of the devil.' In the light of 2 John 9, the answer must be Yes" (The Epistles of John, p. 145)

    Hodges insists that this man is truly saved, and that although he lost his faith, Christ did not lose him. However, it's quite obvious that this man believed only for a while, had no root, and when trials came (the illness and death of his wife), he fell away (Luke 8:13). Hodges explanation for this is that the stony ground, the thorny ground and the good ground (in Christ's parable of the sower) all represent saved individuals! [This is explained by Hodges in his book, The Hungry Inherit].

    Zane Hodges teaches that a large portion of the Church, Christ's beloved body and bride, will be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Grace in Eclipse, Chapter 9, "The Darkness Outside" and see also Chapter 8.

    "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God" (2 John 9). Hodges teaches that this is a description of a saved person! [Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 908] Hodges seems to teach that if anyone professes Christ, then they must possess Christ. But here is a case where a person doesn't even possess God ("hath not God") and yet Hodges still insists that the person is saved!

    The gospel is not as John or Zane or Antonio have presented. God laid it out simply in the epistle to the Romans. It is revealed in the whole Bible as in parts and portions. The righteousness of God is the issue, not our “eternal safety.” Our eternal safety and blessing is a result of God demonstrating His own righteousness in the parts and whole of the Gospel mystery revealed through the scriptures. You have made it man-centered in an attempt to rescue the gospel from works and have committed an even greater sin against the Lord. The eternal God manifested in the flesh, was sent by the Father, died a substitutionary death, arose in a real glorified physical body and will save those who believe in Him as their Savior(apart from works) from sin(not in sin)and death and hell. If they deny His Deity, His death as vicarious or His actual bodily resurrection, or add works, then they are not true, but still in their sins. These are essential and taken from the revelation of God as a whole. If a person does not know these things (however simply) he is not a Christian.


    Antonio,
    You said to Kitty:

    “For a second, let us disregard the context of what Paul is saying in Romans chapters 9-11.”

    If you had not disregarded the context of the text she offered, your questions would have already been answered. Had not Paul dealt with the issues of works, false righteousness and the standard of holiness? If someone asks a question within a text, why would you disregard the context?

    To Sofyst you wrote:

    Sofyst,

    ”I see that you don't take the challenge of answering my poignant questions starting off this post.”

    Poignant? (Definition: “Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings.”


    You can see that definition worked out in reality by the response Sofyst gave you earlier:

    “Now, I may be willing to exclude the divinity and the virgin birth from the whole requirement for salvation. MAY! But when you say that one needn't even believe that our LORD was crucified and buried and rose again, that is dangerous speak.”

    Sofyst is being opened up to serious error, by your questioning and faulty reasoning. He is ready to almost say Christ can redeem when believed on as a normal man!! Yes, your questions are truly poignant.

    Hk said:

    ”I think the church needs a new reformation where the Gospel of John becomes treated as binding.

    The Gospel of John does emphasize the divintiy of Christ but it doesn't weave that truth into the offer of eternal life. If John were understood and embraced we would be a different.”


    The Cross and Resurrection were at John’s end and not explained until later, as Christ began to work through it with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and other appearances prior to the ascension. Even then it took a special revelator chosen by God to reveal it in it’s clarity for our New Covenant era and the Body of Christ as was born at Pentecost in Jerusalem, not by the shores of Galilee.

    Do we really need a “new reformation” back to the bridge of the post-incarnation but pre-Pentecost situation? Think hard here. All kinds of issues would be raised that would confuse and take us all backwards. These ideas are distorted and though they sound spiritual to the untrained ear, they are really from the enemy. I sincerely beg your pardon for the emotional impact that this may have, but it is necessary here in this case.

    Brian definitely stated the text in John where Jesus said,

    ”Unless you believe that I AM you will die in your sins.” John 8:24

    There is no “he” in the Greek text. It is “I am.” The name of the Lord. As in John 8:58 “….before Abraham was born, I AM.” Then they picked up stones to kill Him. Even they knew what He was demanding.

    This text that Brian brought up was ignored. You cannot ignore Christ making the statement that His deity was a requirement of belief for salvation.


    The Gospel is not as Law and it is not as assent to least common details. Both extremes are demonic. Gal. 1, 2 Cor.11, Colossians 2, 1 John 4, 2 John, Jude…
    And many more tell you without having to have a PhD that the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons etc., are damned, and not just because they add works to their systems. What Packer is doing for the Calvinists, you are attempting for Free Grace people. Repent, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

    God have mercy on this blog,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:06:00 AM  

  • Insight into Free Grace theology by Zeller:

    Hodges, Dillow, Wilkin and Faust all teach that good works are not the necessary outcome of saving faith. This is what they teach concerning saving faith:

    1. A person can be a believer and yet his life can be devoid of good works (James 2).

    2. A person can be a believer and yet persist in the sins of homosexuality, alcoholism, fornication, etc. (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

    3. A person can be a believer and produce no good fruit.

    4. A person can be a believer and deny Christ (Matthew 10:33).

    5. A person can be a believer and can, at some later time, totally depart from the faith, denying the gospel totally, blaspheming Christ, and even teaching against Christianity.

    6. A person can be a believer and then stop believing. Not only does he stop believing but he can believe false things about Jesus Christ (he can deny His deity, deny His substitutionary death, deny that He came in the flesh, deny His ability to save sinners, deny His bodily resurrection, etc.).

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:21:00 AM  

  • Sofyst,

    I soundly agree with Joseph. I am concerned about your position as well and it is the reason why I don't fully embrace Calvinism, although I am a believer in election. Faith cometh by *hearing*

    There is no other source and the ear must hear. God made the rules, I didn't.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:31:00 AM  

  • bhedr, what is my position again?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:33:00 AM  

  • Thanks for your input again Joseph. If anything this has been eye opening. I am not happy at all about this, but deeply grieved. Everytime I want to offer hope to Antonio and his efforts, it seems like things like this occur. I cannot keep doing this. There must be a seperation here of truth. This is not a minor issue. This is colossal. We are playing marbles with diamonds and this is not an option for the believer.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:38:00 AM  

  • Softyst,

    You seem, and I say seem ambiguous as to the hearing of faith. I really don't know your stand, but I know many Calvinists follow regeneration preceding faith to breathtaking proportions as Centurion once stated that we will never understand the gospel message perfectly and we must be regenerated and later come to an understanding of the gospel. Do you agree with this? It seems you are heading in that direction, but I will refrain from jumping to that conclusion. Perhaps you aren't but are just throwing up the idea when you say MAY.

    Regeneration occurs at the hearing of faith. Of course he quickens us and came after us first, but He uses the hearing of the word as he himself prepares the ear, but regeneration occurs at the hearing of the ear receiving the gospel message. I am assuming that since you consider yourself to be a seven point Calvinist...you may question this. MAY.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:46:00 AM  

  • bhedr, I believe regeneration must proceed faith. Bla bla bla, you know the arguments. So, I do believe that a full understanding of the gospel may actually never occur within the Christian's life. GASP!

    BUT! I don't consider 'salvation' to be only that point when God declares us righteous. Therefore, if we consider salvation to be more of a process, then it is normal to consider us more advanced in our knowledge of the gospel later in this process than we are at the beginning or before this process begins.

    Hence the reason why I responded to Antonio as I did. I don't know what exactly is required before one may be saved. I don't believe in precognant faith, so I believe there is something that must be known. I just don't know what it is.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:28:00 AM  

  • And I don't know if I would consider myself a seven pointer any longer. Six and a half maybe... ;)

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:29:00 AM  

  • Softyst,

    You were right to pre-determine that I would gasp at the hearing of your message. What you believe does make me gasp. I am more of a Spurgeonist if I am to be counted among the Calvinist although labels make me cringe. Your view express why I can't follow the Calvinist label and am surprised as to why Spurgeon did as he believed regeneration and faith are instantaneous. Yes we are quickened by God, but in that instant...you must believe the whole Gospel and when I was saved, I was renedered completely just before Christ. An instant new-creation!

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 9:57:00 AM  

  • When I say that regeneration does (I almost said 'doth'! Where in the heck did that come from), when I say that regeneration proceeds faith it is one of logical proceeding. Regeneration and faith are instantaneous. But one must logically proceed the other. Faith requires regeneration given man's depravity.

    It is like the whole repentance/faith and Trinity concept. These things cannot be seperated. You cannot turn to God (faith) without turning from sin (repentance), and likewise you cannot have the Father without having the Son and the Spirit. These things cannot be seperated, yet we speak of them as distinct. We speak of them distinct recognizing that in reality they are not distinct.

    Likewise, you cannot divorce regeneration from faith. We speak of them seperately even though they cannot be seperated. We likewise speak of one proceeding the other in logical order, recognizing though that they are temporally simultaneous.

    Did that make sense?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 10:23:00 AM  

  • BTW Softyst since you do believe this>So, I do believe that a full understanding of the gospel may actually never occur within the Christian's life< What is your beef with Antonio? I also don't understand what the beef the Pyro's and Boars head had with the Movie End Of The Spear. Seems to me regeneration could start there in the movie with little gospel in it. For that matter, why are any of you guys onto Anotonio about many of his views? It seems that just as Joseph and Bobby Grow have so often stated...everybody ends up meeting in the same place whether you are Lordship or Free Grace.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 10:27:00 AM  

  • Softyst,

    I agree we are dead in our tresspasses and sins, but Jesus spoke the word to Lazurus before resurrecting him and he obeyed by comming forth. The word spoken cleanses us. Let there be light and there was light. Albeit there still sleeps a mystery here as clearly the disciples understood this truth when asking Jesus to increase their faith. He responded by telling them if you had faith the grain of a mustard seed.

    One question 4 you. Eve was regenerate. Did her unregeneration precede her unbelief? She was dead to sin and alive to God. How could unbelief occur in regeneration? You cannot solve this puzzle with your finite mind Softyst. You can philosophize over it, but that is all. the question again: Did unregeneration precede Eves unbelief?

    Simple solution for a child would be to say that I don't understand and just leave it at that and say it is instantaneous and only God knows.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 10:34:00 AM  

  • For Sofyst,

    Charles Spurgeon recognized the folly of saying that the sinner must be regenerated before he can believe:

    "If I am to preach the faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate. Am I only to preach faith to those who have it? Absurd, indeed! Is not this waiting till the man is cured and then bringing him the medicine? This is preaching Christ to the righteous and not to sinners." [Sermon entitled The Warrant of Faith].


    Illumination, conviction, convincing and wooing are not regeneration. They are pre-salvific workings of the Spirit of God brought about by the hearing of the gospel. Truths must be comprehended by the intellect and those truths must be TRUE. The emotions must be pricked and convicted by the truthfulness of that true TRUTH. The will must move, deciding with the heart to embrace that true Truth. This is no more a work than a patient receiving medicine from a physician that will save his life. The Calvinist will scream,”Synergism!!” But, screaming a thing does not make it true. Regeneration is totally monergistic in it’s application and delivery. It is the impartation of new life. It is not imparted through human effort. It is not a cooperation between us and God. It is simultaneous with faith and distinct from faith. Again the mysteries of God must be respected enough to let them remain un-dissected and tampered with by the mental straining of men who think mysteries within their grasp.

    You don't know what saves?

    You said,

    "I don't know what exactly is required before one may be saved."

    You see the bondage of following a man's system?

    Do you think Paul had this problem? This is serious. If you have time read this link:

    http://triumph-of-the-crucified.blogspot.com/2006/04/gospel-instrumentality-christ-declared.html

    It is on the subject of gospel instrumentality and the problem of pre-faith regeneration.

    In His love,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 10:48:00 AM  

  • Joseph,

    where did you come from? We think so much alike. It is uncanny. I echo what you delivered with such clarity.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 10:59:00 AM  

  • Something shorter to think on:

    In the book of Luke Jesus is quoted as saying:

    "Woe to you Chorizan! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occured in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackloth and ashes."

    Where is pre-faith regeneration in a statement like that? Is this not a problem for Calvinists?

    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:02:00 AM  

  • Hello Brian!
    I am so glad you're here. I wrote you some e-mails, but I'm not sure that they went through.
    The topic here has been very clear, and I hope it will be a help to many. Even one would be worth the time.
    Your brother in thanks,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:12:00 AM  

  • That text in Luke is actually a dilemma and a catch 22 for both Arminians and Calvinists as it shows the Arminian that God illuminates and draws; yet it also shows that God knows what to do to get men to respond and that these cities had become presumptuous about his work. It is an ever mysterious endeavor to be so presumptuous as to know the Mind of God.

    Hey I linked your article Joseph> Here

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:15:00 AM  

  • Sorry Joseph,

    My wife has a screen. I need to tell here to put your address in it.Sorry

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:17:00 AM  

  • bhedr,

    Do you intentionally misspell my handle?

    My beef with Antonio is that while I belive the gospel may never fully be grasped by the person throughout their life, I nonetheless think that there are elements that must be grasped. Antonio seems to suggest that you need only believe in the 'name' of Jesus. I would disagree and say at least the death is a requirement as well...not to mention the idea that He is savior. How can you believe in a Savior to save you if you haven't even knowledge that He is the Savior that will save you? I can't believe that the mailman will give me mail if I don't even know he is the mailman...would I not be waiting for the mailman to give me my mail when all along the mailman is standing there? I just didn't know that that person was the mailman? Same principle.

    And yes, Jesus did speak to Lazarus within the grave. But as long as Lazarus was still dead, he couldn't come out. Jesus' words to the dead man wouldn't have resulted in obedience. A corpse doesn't walk. He must have first been made alive, and then he could obey. And as we all know, dead things don't revive themselves. Save Jesus of course.

    Same principle. We are dead in our sins. Jesus calls us forth. We cannot obey unless we are made alive. Jesus makes us alive, and then we obey. Even if the making alive and the obedience are simultaneous, you still logically must have prior to the other. Unless of course you would say that the dead thing got up and walked, and then it was made alive because it got up and walked. That is just silly.

    I do believe faith and regeneration are simultaneous.

    If we apply the same principle with Eve that we have with all of humanity, we would have Eve sinning, and therefore dying, God then making her alive, and her responding with faith.

    Simple question for you: how do you know Eve was regenerate?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:00:00 PM  

  • blaurock, what the heck does your name mean?

    I think you are misunderstanding Spurgeon. He uses being 'saved' and being 'regenerate' as synonymous.

    He is saying that we don't preach the gospel, preach faith, to those that are already saved/regenerate. They are already saved, they needn't be preached the gospel to.

    'If I am to preach the faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate.'

    If I preach faith to one who is already regenerated, already saved, then it is unecessary and ridiculous to bid him to believe in order to be saved, when he is already saved, being already regenerated.

    Spurgeon and I don't disagree.

    If the man was unregenerate, then this is synonymous with saying that the man is lost, unsaved. Hence it is quite normal to preach the gospel to him, to bid him to be saved, as he is not saved, he is not regenerated.

    However, if one is saved through faith, and if regeneration and faith are so closely linked, then one who is already saved and regenerated needn't to be pleaded with to come to Christ, they are already saved, already regenerated and already Christ's.

    Spurgeon and I don't disagree here...

    Blaurock, if the Spirit woos prior to salvation, and if the man must believe, and if likewise salvation is given by God and by God alone, where then does regeneration come in?

    It would seem you paint the picture as such: the Spirit woos, the man responds in believe, God then saves. Would you then place regeneration afterwards? Is that in the saving act of God? Or is it after God saves?

    After you answer that, answer this: what is regeneration?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:06:00 PM  

  • Dear Sofyst,
    Please read the link Brian provided for you. Your questions will be answered.
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:20:00 PM  

  • Unless Antonio has departed from the Zane Hodges' line, he would say that one must believe that Jesus is saviour to appropriate eternal life, Adam.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:21:00 PM  

  • Matthew, does Zane's line always believe that one must believe what this Savior saves the person from, or to what this person is saved to?

    Must we only believe that Jesus is savior? Or must we believe that He saved us from the penalty of our sin?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:27:00 PM  

  • Joseph, call me anal, but I want your opinion. I don't like being just sent somewhere else. I am discussing this issue with you, not whoever is on the other end of that link...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:28:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,

    I believe Joseph is at the end of that link--it's his blog!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:55:00 PM  

  • How funny...I feel like a doof.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:18:00 PM  

  • Very good then Joseph,

    You said this:

    "The moment a person is born again he receives a new life (John 6:47; 1 John 5:12) and a new position as a child of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-2). In short, he is a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
    It's impossible to be saved and not be regenerated. It's impossible to be regenerated and not be saved. Every born again person is saved. It is a Biblical absurdity to suggest that a person is saved and regenerated and at some later point of time becomes a believer in Christ. Faith and regeneration take place simultaneously. They both take place at the same instant of time. One is the response of a lost, sinful man to the gospel; the other is the supernatural work of God."

    I agree COMPLETELY. I think what you may be misunderstanding is that while all of us who are reformed do believe that regeneration must LOGICALLY proceed faith, not all of us believe that this regeneration can occur at any time than the belief occurs.

    I, specifically, believe that regeneration and faith are simultaneous acts. The moment one believes, they are regenerated. The moment one is made regenerate by God, they come to faith.

    I am not of the opinion that infants are to be baptized because of their regenerate state.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:31:00 PM  

  • Softyst,

    You are pulling what Spurgeon said out of context. Go read the whole message on Warrant Of Faith. It really is a blessing. I think you will like it.

    Also instead of saying regeneration preceds faith, I like to say that faith is born out of the word spoken to us by God mingled with His Spirit. It is instantaneous when we are quickened into belief by the resurrective command of God through his promise in His Son. WE must be born again by His Spirit alone.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:39:00 PM  

  • bhedr, when I say that regeneration is before faith, this is not a temporal 'before', it is a logical 'before'. Regeneration is before faith, but they are both simultaneous actions. Simultaneous is a temporal word, it has temporal connotations, before doesn't necessarily have those connotations.

    And where can I find that link?

    Would you please as well show how I have misinterpreted Spurgeon? Within the quote, Spurgeon uses regenerate and saved as synonymous. He then says it is pointless to preach to the regenerate/saved person to be saved, as they are already saved.

    This is exactly as I have been saying.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:58:00 PM  

  • Adam
    No, the gift that is to be received is eternal life. Nowhere are we told to receive forgiveness of sins as a gift.

    Hence, having a consciouness of the penalty for sin is not a necessity for receiving eternal life, though there are worrying implications for a Christian life that begins without repentance and consciousness of sin.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 12:30:00 AM  

  • (Can a Traditionalist, Reformed, or Lordship Advocate tell me EXACTLY how much information needs to be known and believed before someone is truly saved? Give me a list of the orthodox doctrines that must be assented to.)

    ACTUALLY... The real answer is none. God does it all (John 3:3). After regeneration, everything else is a response to God saving a person.

    If a list of two, three, or more is considered a work by 'Free Grace' advocates, then a list of one (man generated belief) is also a work.

    It is simply Matthew. God does it ALL.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, May 08, 2006 5:50:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat, the question was Antonio's not mine.

    You actually dodged the question. The issue is not works or whether faith is a gift. Antonio is asking about what is involved in the faith that justifies.

    Obviously you would not accept a Mormon or a J.W. as a regenerate person.

    You believe that regeneration results in conversion.

    Antonio has asked what a person must believe before you can consider them to be truly converted and regenerate.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 6:50:00 AM  

  • Dear Jazzycat,

    You said,

    "jazzycat said...
    (Can a Traditionalist, Reformed, or Lordship Advocate tell me EXACTLY how much information needs to be known and believed before someone is truly saved? Give me a list of the orthodox doctrines that must be assented to.)

    ACTUALLY... The real answer is none. God does it all (John 3:3). After regeneration, everything else is a response to God saving a person.

    If a list of two, three, or more is considered a work by 'Free Grace' advocates, then a list of one (man generated belief) is also a work.

    It is simply Matthew. God does it ALL.

    Jazzycat"


    I'm not in any of the catagories you listed as potential responders to your question, but it is one I'm compelled to answer anyway.

    Your statement is not really that surprising after all that has been said on this post. It's just from the other side of the extreme.

    Here are the same answers I gave to Antonio on the heresy he brought forth. Yours is just as heretical and should be noticed and rejected by any reading it. I hope you too will reconsider the extremism of a man made system gone berserk.

    This is essential:

    "The eternal God manifested in the flesh, was sent by the Father, died a substitutionary death, arose in a real glorified physical body and will save those who believe in Him as their Savior(apart from works) from sin(not in sin)and death and hell. If they deny His Deity, His death as vicarious or His actual bodily resurrection, or add works, then they are not true, but still in their sins. These are essential and taken from the revelation of God as a whole. If a person does not know these things (however simply) he is not a Christian."

    Please read the same link Brian offered to Sofyst earlier for more information.

    May God help you.

    Sincerely,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 6:52:00 AM  

  • Joseph,
    'Here are the same answers I gave to Antonio on the heresy he brought forth. Yours is just as heretical and should be noticed and rejected by any reading it. I hope you too will reconsider the extremism of a man made system gone berserk.'

    That comment was wonderful!
    I would love to invite you over for a drink or two.

    I can invite one of my Calvinist friends too and we can have a really fun discussion about theology.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 6:59:00 AM  

  • Dear Matthew,
    I'd love to come over, really.
    But, do you think this is all a hobby or a joke?
    There is a time to laugh and a time to refrain from laughing. This is one of those times.
    We are not discussing the news or sports. We are walking on holy ground with many of us wearing filthy Army boots. We are in a war.
    But, I'll take that drink.
    Your's in Light,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 7:52:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Are we Bible believers? Do we really believe that "nothing" must be believed to be saved. (as Jazzycat said)
    or that
    One can disregard the Deity of Christ or the resurrection of Christ's body and be saved.(as Antonio)

    If this is small and insignificant then I've made a huge mistake in 25 years of exegesis and have many apologies to make to thousands of people.

    The idea that we can preach the gospel as "unto the Samaritan woman" is a fundamental misunderstanding of progressive revelation and the New Covenant.
    I know that you understand much of this, if not the majority. I appeal to you to not let the enemy make it all out to be a non-issue or "another day in blogland." There are decisions to be made and lines to be drawn. Heresy must be confronted and then if not thrown away by the offender we must remove ourselves. Is it fun? Not at all. Is it the need right now, right here? Yes.
    In Consideration,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 8:07:00 AM  

  • Joseph,
    Take a deep breath and some catnip and re-read my post where you said that I assert that ‘nothing’ must be believed to be saved. You are reading something into the comment that is not there. Unfortunately, people also do this all the time with Scripture as well.

    Apart from God’s grace (Eze. 26:26-27 & Eph. 2:1-5 and elsewhere) no one comes to faith. My point is that after God takes action through intervention and regeneration of a sinner, everything else is really just a response to God’s grace. Free grace advocates believe in only one man-generated work (belief/faith) and are critical of anyone that adds any other work other than just this one. Now they will say that faith is not a work but that any response other than faith is a work (when one says that a Christian exhibits such characteristics). Paul in Eph. 2:8-9 clearly states that faith is a gift from God and not by works and the point Paul is making is that if sinful man believes his ‘free will’ generates his on faith, then it is a work. They (Free Grace advocates) claim that faith is not a gift and not a work either. I would ask them to clear this up a bit by defining faith since they do not believe it is a gift.

    I would not call myself, Antonio, Matthew, Rose, and Jodie heretics. I agree with the essentials that you mentioned and imagine they do as well. I believe God saves sinners through Jesus Christ and from reading some of your posts, you believe that God makes salvation possible, but that man must make the call apart from God’s grace. My friend, if that is what you believe, there is reason for boasting.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, May 08, 2006 11:00:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat,
    Are you sure?

    This was you right?

    "Give me a list of the orthodox doctrines that must be assented to.)

    ACTUALLY... The real answer is none."

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 11:28:00 AM  

  • Does the scripture say to "be saved and believe the gospel?" or "believe and be saved?"

    The answer is quite obvious.

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 11:32:00 AM  

  • Joseph,
    There you go again taking something out of context….
    My entire quote was,
    “ACTUALLY... The real answer is none. God does it all (John 3:3). After regeneration, everything else is a response to God saving a person.”

    What about God does it all and faith, etc. follows as a response do you not understand.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, May 08, 2006 11:48:00 AM  

  • For any discerning reader the following should be clear:

    The Free Grace position says it is not required to believe much at all to be saved, not even the basics of Christ's Deity or His work necessarily.

    The Calvinist says, "Don't worry you can't believe anyway, and it will come to you later after you're saved."

    Will you follow that reasoning?
    Is this what the Bible really teaches?
    A person must be taught this as an aside from the Bible. This is not taught straight forward in the Bible.
    Twisting and turning to remove the implications of your system is not a good sign of healthy belief.

    John 1:12,13:

    "To as many as received Him He gave the authority to become the children of God,even to those who believe in His Name."(the means of appropriation)"who were not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God." (the initiator and the source of the new life)
    There is no boasting in this. There is no cause for it. It is God who provided and who delivered. But, to remove the means of appropriation as being a responsibility of man is contrary to the text and countless others.
    There is no work in entrusting oneself to God's prescribed plan of rescue. In fact it is called a non-work by Paul in Romans:
    3:27
    "Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith."

    Faith is here described as the means of appropriating grace unto justification and that it is not work at all. It is an anti-work even as coming in response to the grace of God in truth and exercised by man! That is the point. The one who "believes" has "ceased from work." For you to say that man believing is cause for boasting is foreign to Paul, and not only foreign, but contrary. It is Calvinism in the desperate attempt to rule over scripture itself.

    To His Name,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 11:54:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat,
    I'm not taking you out of context at all. You have regeneration prior to receiving truth as in the Gospel. You have the truth coming after the new birth. That is not hard to see in your statement, and that is what I am addressing.

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 11:57:00 AM  

  • Joseph,
    Yes it is quite obvious, and Calvinist give the external call in evangelism everyday. Dr. D. James Kennedy started EE and he is a Calvinist. Believe and be saved is the message of that ministry and Calvinist preaching. However, apart from the Holy Spirit and God’s grace men will not believe and be saved. (Eph. 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.)

    The Bible, the preaching of the word, and witnessing give the external call. The Holy Spirit gives the effectual call because of God’s grace.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, May 08, 2006 11:59:00 AM  

  • Joseph,
    Right, Calvinist believe that regeneration precedes believing. I assumed you were aware of this.
    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, May 08, 2006 12:02:00 PM  

  • Joseph,
    You said, (The Calvinist says, "Don't worry you can't believe anyway, and it will come to you later after you're saved.")

    If you are going to be this insulting and condescending, I suggest a double dose of catnip and try again in the morning.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, May 08, 2006 12:11:00 PM  

  • Matthew, you said this:

    'No, the gift that is to be received is eternal life. Nowhere are we told to receive forgiveness of sins as a gift.'

    Very good. Then, if I were to ask you, 'what must I do to be saved', you should necessarily respond either 'believe' or 'receive the free gift of life'. Or perhaps a combination of both, 'believe to receive the free gift of life'. This would be the basic response. Anything else would be superfluous.

    Correct?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, May 08, 2006 12:52:00 PM  

  • Sorry Sofyst,

    I will be more careful and more attentive to your handle. I know how it feels. My name is Brian and people call me Brain all the time.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Monday, May 08, 2006 1:58:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,

    More from the message Warrant of Faith by Spurgeon:

    "My opponents will say, "The sinner must have an awakened conscience before he is warranted to believe on Christ." Well, then, if I trust Christ to save me because I have an awakened conscience, I say again, the most important part of the whole transaction is the alarm of my conscience, and my real trust hangs there. If I lean on Christ because I feel this and that, then I am leaning on my feelings and not on Christ alone, and this is legal indeed. Nay, even if desires after Christ are to be my warrant for believing, if I am to believe in Jesus not because he bids me, but because I feel some desires after him, you will again with half an eye perceive that the most important source of my comfort must be my own desires."

    Spurgeon here is critiquing the higher school of Calvinism. I consider men like Piper to be among this school and in reality they are re-packaging Arminianism.

    This Future Grace stuff and all is like that hybrid squirrel on Ice-Age chasing after that acorn to always have it taken from him or lost.There is never any solid foundation and in reality does not teach regeneration preceding faith but receding from faith. Go watch either of those movies Ice Age 1 or 2 to get a word picture.

    I will agree that it is simultaneous but it must be made clear that the regenerative power is in the Spirit of God illuminating the word and quickening the heart through the hearing of the ear. Faith MUST rest on the Son of God found in the promise in the written word. No where else. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Here is the link to the message. It is one of his best: The Warrant Of Faith

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Monday, May 08, 2006 2:29:00 PM  

  • Adam, I would tell you of the cross, of the resurrection and the sinfulness of man.

    But I would tell you only to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life to be saved.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 2:51:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,

    I hold to a position that may lack common sense (based on man's wisdom) but a postion that is, in my view, by far the most explicitly supported position. After all, John actually says repeatedly what the offer of eternal life is!!

    To answer your question, I believe the offer of eternal life is like the bulls-eye of a target, and the target itself is the Gospel message. If the bull's eye is seriously garbled with obedience to the Mosaic Law (or the law of God more generally) that target, that Gospel, is another Gospel.

    I do think the Gospel includes the good news of getting all the resources needed to live the Christian life and that is why in 1 Corinthians 14 and 15, where Paul is deep in a discussion of Christian behavior/living and worship, he insists on the historical facts of the Gospel. (Christ's death and esp. resurrection) The good news of historical facts are utterly necessary for abounding in Christian ministry:

    But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

    1 Cor 15:57,58

    So Sofyst, I see the offer of eternal life as more specific than the good news in general, and I do that because John, I think, demands that specificity.

    God bless,
    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 6:05:00 PM  

  • Matthew, why would you tell me all that? Why not simply tell me 'believe on the LORD Jesus Christ for eternal life to be saved'?

    If the cross, the death and the resurrection are superfluous, why even bother telling me such?

    Second question, you tell me to 'believe on the LORD Jesus Christ for eternal life to be saved'. I then truly, with all my heart, do believe on the LORD Jesus Christ for eternal life (here upon earth in this body) to be saved (from ever dying a physical death).

    Am I saved? Have I believed correctly?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:33:00 AM  

  • Jodie, you can call me Adam.

    I have asked a question on Antonio's next post. I would love your answer.

    awaiting the hope,
    Adam

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:34:00 AM  

  • Adam, I would tell you those things, because if you did not know them, you would have one very messed up theology at the start of your Christian life.

    Yes, I you would be saved, even with that misconception of what eternal life is. That definition includes the basci content of eternal life in terms of living forever.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:52:00 AM  

  • Matthew, I didn't know I had asked the same question to you on this post when I asked it on the other for all three. So, I'll regulate our dialogue to this one, and leave the other one there.

    But, you have said that if I believe eternal life to be never dying a physical death, and believe salvation to be from this physical death I could still be saved.

    Let me ask you what I asked Jodie, could I believe that I am God and Christ the Son of myself and still be saved?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:19:00 PM  

  • No, for the same reason Jodie gave.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:43:00 AM  

  • h k flynn wrote, "I think the church needs a new reformation where the Gospel of John becomes treated as binding."

    This comment (Post #3 above)is an example of how the advocates of the GES/Hodges interpretation of the Gospel view the Gospel of John as though it trumps and negates the rest of the NT on the doctrine of salvation/the Gospel.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 9:11:00 AM  

  • Nathaniel:

    I don't know if you still visit this blog, but I read your comments in post #4 above. I especially liked your summation, which was:

    "Let us not in effort to simplify the gospel hack away the important things that are vital to the Christian faith. "


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 9:18:00 AM  

  • Ok my turn to revive this. You share as much of the truth of the gospel as needed to convince a person of the Truth that Christ is the grantor of eternal life to all who believe in him. For a child, it is simple. For an adult, in another country, perhaps you need to start in Creation and work to the cross from their. In the US you might just hit on the cross and ressurection. You share the truth of God's word so that a person will believe in him. The Holy Spirit is thankfully involved in this process, and of course the person chooses to be open to the truth, but to believe something is true is not a choice.

    Peace and Love in Christ

    Trent

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, September 28, 2007 12:45:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Jim, at Tuesday, January 13, 2009 4:52:00 PM  

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