[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)

Friday, February 29, 2008

How Do You Spell Repentance?

by Rose

Remember that old commercial - "How do you spell relief?" (I think the answer in that commercial was R-O-L-A-I-D-S, which is an anacid, in case you didn't know). Well, this could bring your stomach to a knot, but I don't want to talk about indigestion. :~)

This word "repentance" - everyone means something different by it. So far as I can tell, here are several of the meanings that people (that means you and me, just ordinary folk) attach to this word:

1. Stopping sin, ceasing from all known sinful actions
2. Stopping sin, ceasing from some certain sinful actions

3. Willingness or desire to stop all known sin
4. Feeling sorrow over all known sin
5. Changing the mind about all known sin, hating it instead of loving it

6. Calling out to God in the helplessness of sin's consequence
7. Changing the mind about God/Jesus from an unsaved faithless mindset to faith in Christ for one's delieverance from sin's consequence
8. Changing the mind about who God/Jesus is in regards to oneself

So, there is a gamut of meaning and I may be missing some shades. This is a problem word. You see confusion amongst people as to whether or not this thing "repentance" is a "required" part of saving faith. Funnily enough, I think the way the word "repentance" is used by some can be a synonym for faith.... and by others for works.... all in the same word!

If you define "repentance" as # 7 or #8 then it could easily be said that "repentance" is intrinsicly the same as "believing in Jesus," even #6, whether you are LS or FG. But if you define "repentance" as #3-#5 then there is all kinds of debate as to whether this is a necessary component of saving faith -or if it is- Christian growth. #1 and #2 are obviously (to me anyway) works commendable by God.

How utterly confusing. I think we should just insert a clearer meaning word in our conversations in place of the word "repentance." Then there could be meaningful conversation about whether or not this is a part of conversion.

77 Comments:

  • Maybe someone even wants to offer yet another definition?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, February 29, 2008 5:14:00 AM  

  • Rose, this is the word that led me away from the LS teaching I was saved under. (Although, I guess some might say I was never saved under that teaching. :P)

    I don't have an answer for what that word truly means in scripture, but it comes up so much, it MUST be of incredible importance. Funny thing is I think I went through a progreesion of understandings of this word, in almost exactly the order you listed! It was like as I matured, it had a deeper meaning to me, and, depending on the scripture and circumstance, included some, none or all of these meanings.

    Could it be that like many Hebrew and Greek words, that the word (or words) translated to mean "repentence" has a depth of meaning that include ALL of these definitions and possible more?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Friday, February 29, 2008 7:34:00 AM  

  • Whatever repentance is, the Bible nowhere identifies it as a condition for receiving eternal life.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, February 29, 2008 7:45:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Keeping it simple, (and running the risks of some purists frowning on me) I would run with defining repentance by #3-5 and identifying #6-8 as relating more to faith. Repentance and faith are both required of the sinner and invariably (in their saving variety) come together to bring the soul into pardon for sin.

    Matthew says that repentance, however defined, is nowhere described as a condition of eternal life. I disagree. Except ye repent (says Jesus) ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3-5) I cannot run with the idea that the perishing here means some kind of earthly calamity. Both David and Job record the outward prosperous death of the wicked. Not every unrepentant sinner is killed in a tragic accident (?) or murdered by some despotic ruler. If it is to refer to just an earthly death, then this is the lot of every human being this side of the Lord’s Return and the warning is thus robbed of its force.

    Repentance is a Bible word – one which the Holy Ghost uses – and should not be surrendered up because of the controversy that surrounds it. It just needs further explanation. All key Bible words attract controversy, not least: salvation, faith, predestination, reprobation, holiness etc.,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, February 29, 2008 8:42:00 AM  

  • Colin,

    Is reprobation and predestination a Bible word? I have seen the other words in there. :)

    (that's rhetoric - don't want to distract from the subject)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Friday, February 29, 2008 9:24:00 AM  

  • Hi Missy,

    Predestinated and reprobate are Bible words, each presupposing Predestination and reprobation

    You're right. We shouldn't get away from the subject at hand.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, February 29, 2008 10:03:00 AM  

  • Colin,

    I apologize, you are right and I am uninformed. My comment was overly prideful in assumption. It crossed my mind to check it, but in haste, I leaned too much on my own recollection.

    If I had been more humble, I think I would instead have said I lean in agreement to your second paragraph.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Friday, February 29, 2008 1:33:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    My definition of repentance is "A decision to turn from sin for the purpose of seeking harmony with God, which can result in the averting or ceding of the temporal judgment God can inflict because of sin."

    Hi Colin,

    Can we please for a moment remove from ourselves our strict theological partiality and look at this text in its context?

    ----------
    Luke 13:1-9
    There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
    ---------

    Galileans physically died. On 18 the tower of siloam fell and it "killed them". Unless Jesus' audience repented, they too would perish. They would "likewise" perish. This word "perish" is the common and usual Greek word for "physically die".

    If they wouldn't repent, they would suffer the same fate as these people, physically die.

    "Unless you repent, you will LIKEWISE perish". What, "likewise"? These people physically died. If these Jews did not repent, they would die like these men. Look further:
    ----------
    6 The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

    He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' 8 But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'"
    ----------

    This is the fate of the Jews in A.D. when the Roman armies cut down Jerusalem and 1 million Jews died. John the Baptist preached repentance and said that the consequences was that the axe was already at the base of the tree and all God had to do was to chop if they didn't repent.

    The same with this parable. He was giving them another opportunity to repent. But they didn't, so temporal punishment came upon them and Jerusalem was destroyed along with their lives.

    Israel did not repent and therefore temporal destruction came upon them.

    Repentance, among other things, averts and stops God's temporal wrath against sin. (See Jonah!)

    I have demonstrated that in the context of the passage you gave to prove that repentance is necessary for eternal life, what Jesus was talking about, in context, was physical death.

    I believe that you are beholden to your theological construct and therefore must see salvation from hell in this context. But I rather hope that now you may listen to previous reasoned and objective exposition of this scripture.

    Like I said, Jesus, in the context, talked about repentance, with the consequence of not repenting as physical death. But most people want to import some idea of hell in there. Surely Jesus was concerned about there eternal destinies. But God is equally concerned about their temporal lives.

    The context is clear. If after reading the passage you don't see it, you have to ask yourself if something other than the text is influencing you, and in this case, I believe that it is clear that it is your theology that you bring to the text.

    AD 70 Jerusalem was destroyed as a result of the Jews not repenting.

    People dying in the sacrifices by Pilate. 18 physically dying under the tower of siloam. Repent or likewise die!

    This is even borne out in the next parable. God gave the nation much time to repent in order to avoid the temporal calmity that befell Jerusalem in AD 70. John the Baptist preached the same things.

    In this context of Luke 13, the only way you can get hell into it is to import that foreign idea into the text.


    Ezek 3:18-21
    18 When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

    20 "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul."
    NKJV

    Regards to you,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, February 29, 2008 2:02:00 PM  

  • BTW

    "reprobation" is not a bible word

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, February 29, 2008 2:09:00 PM  

  • Colin, in case you are tempted to point out that it says 'ye shall all perish', I would remind you that as a good five-pointer, you know that 'all' does not always mean everybody.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, March 01, 2008 2:30:00 AM  

  • Good morning, Rose/Antonio/Matthew:

    Antonio: You wisely resist from saying that the word for “perish” in Luke 13:3-5 can only mean physically die, and nothing else, although your argument seems to be based on the thought that this is the case. It clearly carries that meaning in places like the storm ridden Sea of Galilee where the disciples asked their sleeping Master, “Carest thou not that we perish?” i.e. drown. There, is of course, nothing in that place where there is a link to repentance etc., and so it is beyond all dispute that the word carries the temporal meaning.

    However, the same word appears in those very evangelical verses like John 3:15-16; John 10:28 2 Peter 3:9 etc., and if we just think of physical death in these verses, then we impinge the very gospel itself and subsequently attribute abject failure to a Saviour who failed to saved;

    John 3:15-16 (x2) The Believer will not physically die but have eternal life
    John 10:28 Christ’s sheep will never experience physical death
    1 Corinthians 1:18 The preaching of the Cross is foolishness to them that are dying physical death, but to those of us who are never going to suffer physical death (the natural flow of the verse if we run with your teaching) it is the power of God
    2 Peter 3:9 God is not willing that any should physically die, but that all should come to repentance

    The reality is that physical death comes to Christians and non Christians alike, whether they repent or not Many repenting Christians (some of the greatest) met with physical and (humanly speaking) untimely deaths e.g. Stephen, James etc., The Apostle testified the necessity of repentance both to Jew and Gentile alike in a purely gospel context. You cannot link or limit this to AD70 as if AD70 was the terminal building for God’s word and its warnings in these gospel passages.

    Matthew: It is more than the 5 Pointers who say that all does not always mean everybody. (Simple use of a concordance) However, Paul tells us that the impenitent heart treasures up for itself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God(Romans 2:5)

    Regards,

    P/s I acknowledged in my reply to Missy that reprobation was not a Bible word, but it is Biblical, as evidenced by the use of the word reprobate - However I used it here in a list of several other words for another purpose. Lets not get distracted with that argument.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, March 01, 2008 3:28:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    In Luke 11:32 Jesus said: “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
    This is how Nineveh repented:
    This was Jonah’s message: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
    Here is their response:
    So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
    The King put out a decree: let everyone turn from his evil way
    God’s response:
    Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way
    Rose I believe this repentance would be the #1 kind.
    I believe in the majority of people, because of the conviction of sin, rightousness and judgment by the Holy Spirit repentance will take place of the #3-8.
    In Acts 17
    They were ignorant of the One true God thinking there were many Gods, and were called upon to repent.
    17:29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.
    Their belief in many gods were standing in their way of believing in the true God who had sent His Son. They are warned of a future judgment. If they believed Paul’s message of the One True God they would have to change their minds concerning other God’s. Once they did that, they would be ready to believe in the Son of God for His gift of eternal life. We know that eternal life was at the core of Paul’s message. Repentance being toward God and faith in Jesus Christ.
    This repentance they were called to do was of the #8.
    I believe repentance is not a condition for the gift of eternal life. Because if it was it would be mentioned at least one time in the gospel of John but never once is. Also in Galatians which is the defense of the gospel that it is by faith alone, repentance is not mentioned ONE time. Also at the end of the Bible the living water is offered to anyone to take freely. I would conclude by saying repentance facilitates faith, a repentant person is more likely to see his need.

    If we knew the gift of God we would know that it is free!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, March 01, 2008 7:21:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Colin, I got a question for you. Your speaking as a passively born again person then your able to actively repent and then are given the gift of faith so that you can believe. Then once you have believed then your given the gift of justifcation. But when your passively born again at first your not justified until after you have actively repented and believed. Do I have that correct?

    blessings
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:56:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin,

    Alvin: I believe that regeneration enables the sinner to exercise to repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The regenerated soul (in my view) quickly and automatically exercises saving faith in Christ. There ought not to be a separating of one from the other, as if a regenerate soul could still be found in unbelief. Whilst repentance in the Bible is not said to be the channel of justification, yet a chief characteristic of the faith that justifies is that it knows sorrow for sin and a willingness to turn from it i.e. it is a repentant faith. Although the soul that believes the gospel has been marked out for salvation from eternity past, yet it remains in a state of condemnation until it is justified by faith alone in Jesus Christ, without the deeds of the law. Paul said that he and the Ephesians (now justified) had been children of wrath even as others.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, March 02, 2008 11:38:00 PM  

  • Good Morning Rose/Colin

    Thank you for your answer Colin.

    Colin you said:
    Whilst repentance in the Bible is not said to be the channel of justification, yet a chief characteristic of the faith that justifies is that it knows sorrow for sin and a willingness to turn from it i.e. it is a repentant faith.

    Colin so faith is more then just being convinced that something is true, but if it is saving faith it is a repentant faith. So I would think that since this faith is a gift from God if you have the real Macoy it will last till the end. So you could also call this faith not only a repentant faith but a commited faith? And are you also saying that there is no moment in which a regenerated person is not a justified person?

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, March 03, 2008 4:02:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Also Colin how do you know for sure that your faith is not a spurious faith, or do you just have to wait and see if it last? Would'nt part of your assurance be the fact that you have the gift of faith, and your hope that it will last till the end?

    I'm off to work now!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, March 03, 2008 4:21:00 AM  

  • I think I just read Colin Maxwell say that regeneration and faith are simultaneous - or some thought that seemed equivalent to such.

    Am I right Colin Maxwell? If I you were saying that, I could almost go along with you - in fact - wouldn't that solve a lot of disagreements if we would all just say it that way?

    regeneration and faith are simultaneous

    (just a tired thought - my little Levi was up half the night sick and I must admit, I am a little rsuty in the mind presently)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, March 03, 2008 4:54:00 AM  

  • rusty

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, March 03, 2008 4:54:00 AM  

  • Colin, is regeneration a benefit procured through the cross? If so, is the work of the cross then applied outside of justification?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, March 03, 2008 5:34:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Alvin/Matthew,

    Alvin: Yes, faith is more than being convinced that something is true. Some may be convinced that the gospel is true and yet (because they love their sins) decline to be saved at that time – procrastinating or whatever. Faith is convinced that the gospel promise is true and therefore ventures the hope of the soul upon its claims.

    Yes, the real McCoy faith (to employ a popular phrase) which is a gift from God will infallibly last to the end.

    Yes, it is a committed faith in that it commits the soul and its salvation to God. Much as when Paul said that God was able to keep that which he committed unto Him against that day (2 Timothy 1:12) Such should never be read as being of any merit on our part. A drowning man commits his life to the life belt, actively believing in the various scientific laws that tell him that a little air filled plastic belt, a mere fraction of his weight, can keep him from sinking under. Saving faith is committed in that sense.

    I tend to link regeneration so closely to faith that I decline any notion that one will not infallibly lead to the other and that very quickly. However, I believe (as said above) that justification does not take place until the soul exercises faith (Romans 5:1)

    My hope for eternity is not based on the perfection (or otherwise) of my faith, but on the Perfection and Total Sufficiency of Christ’s work. My eventual perseverance again is guaranteed because of His work in me. I do not look within for any warrant to believe, but I look to the promise of the gospel which (as we both know) is extended to the whosoever. I apply on those terms – as a poor, wretched, bankrupt, helpless, doomed, sinner and I find Him saying that it was for me and the likes of me that he came to save. I cast my helpless soul upon his mercy. If I perish, then I perish applying for the promised mercy of God. While that last scenario would doubtless present problems for me (all of my own doing) yet it also presents problems for everyone else, because it means that God has failed to keep His word. Yes…just one drink!

    Rose: Whatever we word it, I do not see faith bringing regeneration, but rather regeneration being the cause of faith (and repentance) I think looking at it in a practical sense, we probably both see the same thing, but if we want to get down to the brass tacks of the details, I can see where we will differ. However, there is a saying, that when doctors differ, then patients die. We both believe that sinners are to be earnestly exhorted to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Acts 16:31) and we know, that if they do not believe, then they will die in the sins and where Christ is, there they will never be (John 8:21) Perhaps we should be practical on this one, rather than theological?

    I hope wee Levi gets better.

    Just about to sign off, when I discover Matthew has a question. (Talk about playing catch up – I was about to reply to Alvin, when Rose put her question in)

    Matthew: Yes, I believe all that all the benefits of salvation flow from the Cross. I don’t think that we should separate justification from regeneration, except for the purposes of studying them. You cannot separate a mother from her child, for one without the other ceases to be. (Not too profound I hope!)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, March 03, 2008 5:44:00 AM  

  • Colin, effectively under your system, the individual has the benefits of the cross applied to her before the cross gives her a rigtheous standing before God.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, March 03, 2008 5:51:00 AM  

  • Matthew: Effectively under my system, the benefits of the cross are given to individuals in order that there might be a righteous standing before God. Yes, salvation really is of the Lord, from the very beginning to the very end.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, March 03, 2008 6:06:00 AM  

  • Colin, it is important that we do not mischaracterize your system.

    I think Calvinism can often be presented in a distorted fashion by critics.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, March 03, 2008 6:17:00 AM  

  • Matthew: You only think that Calvinism can often be presented in a distorted fashion by critics? :-)

    I hope, by answering, your questions that any distortion can be removed. I don't mind defending what I believe, but it is a hateful job trying to straighten out critical distortions.

    Do you believe that the individual has the benefits of the cross applied to her before the cross gives her a rigtheous standing before God?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, March 03, 2008 7:03:00 AM  

  • Interesting question.

    I suppose if common grace and the drawing of the Holy Spirit be said to be benefits of the cross that would be the case.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, March 03, 2008 9:06:00 AM  

  • Matthew writes: I suppose if common grace and the drawing of the Holy Spirit be said to be benefits of the cross that would be the case.

    I agree. The term “drawing of the Holy Spirit,” if effectual, is then the effectual call of the gospel and it is this that brings the soul to Christ – again, all flowing from the entirely perfect and successful Cross work of Jesus Christ.

    Correction to post above in reply to Alvin: I wrote: My eventual perseverance again is guaranteed because of His work in me. I should also add “His work for me”

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, March 03, 2008 9:15:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    How can you say repentance has nothing to do with saving faith, when Peter in his first sermon when asked what must we do to be saved replied,

    Repent, Be baptised and then you will receive the Holy Spirit.

    By Blogger Craig Bennett, at Monday, March 03, 2008 1:40:00 PM  

  • In that sermon, Peter proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ.

    When his hearers heard this, they were cut to the heart. They believed and were thus born again.

    The question 'what must we do' was prompted by their new faith in the messiah.

    Peter was not outlining the way to receive eternal life in calling for repentance and baptism, but was revealing the first steps of discipleship.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, March 03, 2008 1:44:00 PM  

  • Matthew, I had been thinking the same thing after studying this scripture most of the weekend.

    Still, do you think being "cut to the heart" is a form of repentence?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Monday, March 03, 2008 2:32:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Monday, March 03, 2008 5:05:00 PM  

  • Excuse my typos!
    Also, Missy excuse me for butting in, & bro. Matthew I know you will give a better answer, but this is just my 2.11679 cents worth:
    Excellent question. However, rather than saying being "cut to the heart" was a form of repentance, it seems rather, at least to me, that it would better be described as "conviction of sin."
    Bro. Matthew, well-said!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Monday, March 03, 2008 5:09:00 PM  

  • Hmmm I think you are missing the point.

    They asked Peter, "What must we do to be saved?"
    Peter didn't say, "You are already saved because you are convicted"

    Instead he said, "To be saved you need to do this"

    1.) Repent
    2.) Be baptised

    Then you will receive the Holy Spirit

    By Blogger Craig Bennett, at Monday, March 03, 2008 5:26:00 PM  

  • They did not ask what must we do to be saved. They simply said, "what must we do?" They called them brethren also. They believed the Gospel concerning Christ's death & resurrection. No doubt this is as big evidence of repentance unuto life that can be exhibited. Not long before they had cried out for Christ's death. Now they were 180 degrees different.
    When the question was later asked, "What must I do to be saved?" The answer was simply "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ & you will be saved." God Bless you.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Monday, March 03, 2008 6:02:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Colin thank you for your reply. I know your sincere in what you believe. We look at things completely different, when I think of Calvinism what comes to my mind is that movie called the "Body Snatchers." Even though I never saw the movie the name matches. I think of people not knowing when or where that God will take control of them. Overpowering their Old Man with the New Man so that they do what He wants them to, love Him and commit to Him. Not being a gift that is given and taken by a free will but that is forced upon. Made willing but once the one believes the Old Man having power again. Paul said that he didn't do what he wanted to do but that there was a law working in his members, the law of sin.
    Also Lou in your reply I saw alot of uncertainty. And I can understand why because your gift of faith is loaded with so many works, repentance, commitment, perseverance. And since there is such a thing called a "spurious faith" that looks and works just like the real MaCoy one cannot know with certainty until the end of one's life that they have persevered. Here are a few of your comments that to me showed your uncertainty:

    Colin you said:
    Alvin: Yes, faith is more than being convinced that something is true. Some may be convinced that the gospel is true and yet (because they love their sins) decline to be saved at that time – procrastinating or whatever. Faith is convinced that the gospel promise is true and therefore ventures the hope of the soul upon its claims.

    I said:
    Colin I know your one who picks your words well, so I'm wondering why you would pick the word "venture."
    Dictionary:1. an undertaking involving uncertainty as to the outcome.

    Colin said:
    I apply on those terms – as a poor, wretched, bankrupt, helpless, doomed, sinner and I find Him saying that it was for me and the likes of me that he came to save. I cast my helpless soul upon his mercy. If I perish, then I perish applying for the promised mercy of God. While that last scenario would doubtless present problems for me (all of my own doing) yet it also presents problems for everyone else, because it means that God has failed to keep His word. Yes…just one drink!

    Colin there is a BIG difference in what you believe that one drink is and what I believe it is. I believe it is something that can be taken freely. And that it has nothing to do with my sin or my commitment but simply the giving and receiving of a gift (John 4:10; Rev 22:17). I don't have to persevere until the end to know that I will go to heaven, I have certainty I will go to heaven based upon Jesus promise of the one who believes in Him will not perish but has eternal life. And the type of faith is child like faith simply taking Jesus at His word, being convinced that what He says He will do. Were not asked to cast our self upon His mercy. Someone could cast themselves upon His mercy but still think they have to do their part like persevere. Were told over and over to "believe" Jesus for His gift of eternal life (John 3:16;5:24;6:47;11:25,26).
    Webster's Dictionary Apply 1. to make a request (to someone for something)

    If you new the gift of God you would know that it is free!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, March 03, 2008 7:30:00 PM  

  • Thanks, David. I have always considered the repentence preached in scripture to be more akin to a genuine conviction of sin or "cut to the heart" than any other description. This is not by definition or Biblical analysis, but by personal experience from the cutting itself. So I can definitely accept correction.

    Craig, considering they were pierced to the heart about what had been done, could it be that the question was not "What must we do [to be saved]" but rather, "What must we do [to make it right]?" It is not as clearly stated as you have put it.

    That does not mean, however, that I clearly see Peter's response NOT referring to a requirement. But I do lean more towards this being an instruction in discipleship.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Monday, March 03, 2008 7:40:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: Your first paragraph which includes the ref. to “Body Snatchers” seems to be based on the view that Calvinism has nothing to say (or worse again: denies) the place of the will in salvation. This is not the case. To be honest, I’m not in the form this morning to write whole screeds explaining something I do not believe anyway. If you want to think that Calvinism is but pious fatalism, then that’s up to you. If so, I don’t see how I can help you, except to direct you to the Calvinistic creeds (preferably the Westminster Confession of Faith) and at least advise you to at least accept that they are a true representation of how Calvinists interpret the Bible. This will save you a lot of needless effort in the long run. As it stands, I do not take this supposed criticism of Calvinism seriously at all.

    My use of the word venture was influenced more from hymnology rather than the accuracy of the dictionary. I am thinking of the hymn (?) which runs:

    As soon my all I ventured, upon the atoning blood…

    I never thought of this word meaning anything other than to put the weight upon – to trust – to believe etc., and therefore certainly did not intend to imply anything uncertain. Obviously it proves I am not as careful with my words as I could be.

    Your arguments re: perseverance are based on your thought that such are conditions of salvation, rather than the fruit of salvation. Again, a good, unbiased look at the WCF (including the Larger Catechism) should dispossess you of this notion. No one is asking you to ascribe to theology therein, but if you cannot base your criticisms of Calvinism on what Calvinists say they believe, then again…I'm sorry, but I cannot help you.

    I disagree with your statement that we are not asked to cast ourselves upon the mercy of God. The example of the Publican in the temple (Luke 18:13) shows otherwise. We are distinctly told that he went down to his house justified Yes, we are told to “believe” for the gift of eternal life, but there are other verbs used in the NT which denote the same thing e.g. call (Romans 10:13) commit (2 Timothy 1:12) drink (John 7:37) etc.,

    Your criticism that someone could cast themselves upon His mercy but still think they have to do their part like persevere is doubtless true, but only because they have totally misunderstood the core meaning of the word mercy. The same argument, of course, applies to the idea that someone could believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and still mistakenly think that they have something to do. Evidently, this was the problem in Galatia. The abuse (intentional or otherwise) of a doctrine does not rule it out.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, March 04, 2008 1:23:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Colin you said:

    I don’t see how I can help you, except to direct you to the Calvinistic creeds (preferably the Westminster Confession of Faith) and at least advise you to at least accept that they are a true representation of how Calvinists interpret the Bible.

    Colin there is just to much false teaching in the Westminster Confession for me to correct and here is but a little. It's clearly not teaching that eternal life is a gift you can take freely, and assurance is based on your works, also the law is your rule of life with Sunday Sabbath to top it off.

    The Westminster Confession of Faith



    I. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God, and estate of salvation (which hope of theirs shall perish): yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.

    Other words it's all about your works, wether you have them or not!



    III. This infallible assurance does not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it: yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto. And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from inclining men to looseness.

    I believe that assurance is the essence of saving faith, just look at John 3:16;4:10;5:24;6:47;11:25,26


    VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He has particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week: and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.

    VIII. This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their wordly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

    Of course if you didn't keep all these laws would you really be one of the elect ones?



    III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

    IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

    VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praised of His glorious justice.

    Here we have Calvin's horrible decree he saw when he looked into Scripture!

    VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly

    Here we have the law as a "rule of life" our rule of life should be the Spirit not the law!

    II. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.

    They couldn't obey if they wanted to!

    Here is the real truth:




    And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Rev 22:17

    Jesus answered and said to her, “If you [now} knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have [already] asked Him, and He would have [already] given you living water.”

    Colin nothing what so ever about sin or anything else! Anyone can take of the water freely, even though their not thirsty, they can take the water freely if they so desire ......FREELY!!! There is also NO fine print with follow up conditions like perseverance, or keeping the law.
    Colin the difference between your so called free gift and what the Bible really teaches is like night and day. The stumbling block is the simplicity that is in Christ, that He really offers eternal life freely. The Calvinist has rejected that, and instead imbraces a horrible decree from God.

    If you really new the gift of God, you would know it's free!
    alvin

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, March 04, 2008 7:33:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose, Alvin

    Alvin: Neither of us are saying nothing new in these posts, mainly because you’re saying nothing new and I’ve nothing new by way of reply. I have indicated to you (and others) on several occasions that in the Calvinistic scheme that works are the fruit of salvation and not the root. I believe in the free grace of God as much as anyone. You evidently do not agree. I do not share your fixation with this debate, and so, being unable to help you further, I’ll let the matter drop. I responded in the first place because you asked an inquisitive question. I normally do respond to such questions, but reserve the right to further decline comments and/or rhetorical questions, especially when the ground has been covered again and again and again….

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, March 04, 2008 11:01:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Your past posts have me really searching and thinking....Thanks!!!!

    First off, Craig stated...

    "Instead he said, "To be saved you need to do this"

    1.) Repent
    2.) Be baptised"

    If this proves that repentance is necessary for salvation, then so must baptism. I do not believe that this verse is a proof for repentance as a prerequisite for salvation.

    Second, I have been thinking on repentance and CG, etc and wondering if you and some of your readers could comment on this....

    In Gen. 15:6, what did Abraham (Abram at the time) believe that was counted to him as righteousness?....and was this the evidence of his "salvation"? If so, I don't see repentance or the cross being a part of it. I believe that Abraham believed that God would do what he said he would do. He had faith. If it is not his "salvation", then what did Abraham have to believe in order to be saved?

    Your thoughts?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 5:40:00 AM  

  • Kurt, I find it interesting that in the very next verses this happens:

    7 He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."

    8 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?"


    Of course, God patiently gave him a sign, but once again, Abraham does not simply accept God's word - he wants a sign, a guarantee (much like we do with salvation!)

    Then the following scripture:

    9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."

    10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

    12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."

    17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."


    Was God's promise to Abraham spiritual salvation? I don't think so, but I could be wrong.

    I do think this scripture passage indicates that the righteousness credited of God is faith (belief) in his promises - even if you do need "signs" like repentence and/or baptism to seal the deal. If you don't need those things - then maybe you don't need those things. Abraham, however required answers and signs from God almost every time. We talked about his in the pre-teen class I taught Sunday. How cool is that?

    This entire debate so often reminds me of 1 Corinthians 8.

    Thanks for the scripture, Kurt.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 7:17:00 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Colin I see right through your Calvinistic system. Your parading around as though you were a free-gracer but your not at all. Your not even able to go up to a person in all honesty and tell them God loves them and has paid for all their sins on the cross. Because you know that the majority of people God doesn't really love and has not provided a provision for. They cannot hear your message because maybe God chose not to regenerate them. So unless their zapped from on high first they cant obey God's command to them to repent. And by telling them God loves them when if in fact they might be the one God chose to reprobate would really be a lie "What Kind of Love Is This?" Colin your belief loads faith up with all these things so if a person doesn't have works, their going to normally question wether they really are one of the elect, because they know if they were really one of the elect it would more or less be automatic, kinda like a robot. In your earlier reply you clearly showed your own doubts about your own salvation, because with faith all loaded up your expected to performance. And if you don't perform up to your standard or your peers standards of keeping the law and the Sabbath you would wonder if you had the real "gift of faith" or the false faith. Here is the false gifts that the Westmister Confession says God can take back:

    VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, does blind and harden, from them He not only withholds His grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraws the gifts which they had,

    Also Colin you showed us your parachute earlier just in case ALL else fails you will throw yourself on God’s mercy:

    Colin said:
    I apply on those terms – as a poor, wretched, bankrupt, helpless, doomed, sinner and I find Him saying that it was for me and the likes of me that he came to save. I cast my helpless soul upon his mercy. If I perish, then I perish applying for the promised mercy of God. While that last scenario would doubtless present problems for me (all of my own doing) yet it also presents problems for everyone else, because it means that God has failed to keep His word. Yes…just one drink!

    Colin you even admit that scenario might cause problems for you, because you say (all of my own doing) but then you go on to more or less say but you guys are all in the same boat. Colin you don’t see it but I'm not in the same boat you have chose to drink the water of Calvinism which is NOT one drink but you have to keep on drinking and drinking performance or you really never drank in the first place. That is because of your doctrine of “perseverance of the saints.” The living water that Jesus offers is one drink, and your performance has nothing to do with it, that’s because it really is a gift. A very good book to read is by Zane Hodges. It’s called “Here Walks My Enemy” and is a story about Luis who is a Pastor at Zane’s church now. It’s a story of a Chicano who was raised Catholic, but ended up going to a friends church and there was offered a free dollar by the Sunday school teacher. Luis didn’t believe that he would really give it to someone, so another boy eneded up getting the dollar. The Sunday school teacher went on to tell about the gift that God offers freely. Luis ended up beleiving that eternal life was a gift he could take freely. It wasn’t long before he quit going to church and ended up running in a gang, and finaly ended up in reform school. But he never stopped believing that eternal life was really a free gift. He was the only Chicano there that wanted to go to the Protestant service. Zane was his mentor and stuck with him over the years. Luis would have no reason to look at his performance to prove he was saved, he new because he believed it really was a gift that he had taken freely. I have a couple extra books if someone wanted one.

    If you knew the gift of God you would know you can take it freely! No strings attached!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 7:26:00 AM  

  • As I said earlier, Alvin, if you can come back with something new and true, I’ll take up the matter with you again. But more of the same is getting a bit stale and wearisome. I find corresponding with others on this thread a lot more profitable use of my limited time.

    Regards,

    P/s Hey Rose! Am I right in observing that you never gave us your views on repentance here in relation to the #1-#8 principles above?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 7:37:00 AM  

  • Just for my reference:
    1 Corinthians 8

    1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.
    4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
    7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.
    9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 7:38:00 AM  

  • Colin,
    My view is in flux presently. I am not sure at all about it.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 7:39:00 AM  

  • Kurt,
    I have to get back to the deepness of your comment a little later. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 7:40:00 AM  

  • My view is in flux presently. I am not sure at all about it.

    Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

    :-)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 7:47:00 AM  

  • To all: Let me clear up a possible misunderstanding of my position as stated in the phrase above:

    If I perish, then I perish applying for the promised mercy of God. While that last scenario would doubtless present problems for me (all of my own doing) yet it also presents problems for everyone else, because it means that God has failed to keep His word. Yes…just one drink!

    The highlighted words all my own doing is not a reference to any supposed attempts of trying to save myself. I am but reaffirming the standard belief that where the siner perishes, it is all of his own doing. This alone is the way in which the above phrase is used. Furthermore, the use of the "if" at the beginning of the paragraph is that of argument and not of any doubt.I am using it to affirm my reliance 100% on the free grace of God alone. I have nothing else to fall back on.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 8:12:00 AM  

  • Hi Kurt,

    You make a good point about the Acts passage IRT the command to repent and be baptized. That is something I have often seen as problematic when people use that verse to say that repentance is a condition for salvation. Of course, that depends on what you mean by "repentance" ... :-)

    If I were to consider "repentance" as a condition for salvation, I would define it as an acknowledgement of personal sin and its offense to God, i.e. the fact that my sin separates me from God. That is the kind of "repentance" that I believe is required for salvation. But definitely not any kind of action, i.e. one does not need to stop doing any particular sin in order to be saved.

    Kurt, IRT to Abraham, the content of his faith that brought him salvation is mostly irrelevant to the CG debate. Abe is an OT saint, and the content of his faith is less than what is required by both sides, namely belief in Jesus. Paul's point in bringing up Abe's faith in Romans is not to tell us that the content of our faith should be the same as Abe's. Paul is pointing out that Abe was saved by faith as opposed to works, and before/without circumcision. So the content of Abe's faith isn't spelled out for us specifically, and even if it was, most people (certainly all dispensationalists) agree that the content has changed to some extent since Abraham.

    By Blogger Rachel, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 8:42:00 AM  

  • Thanks for that clarification Colin. I think I already knew that you meant that.

    BTW, are you saying that I should go with your view because it is the longer-standing, more traditional, "time-tested" view?

    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 8:42:00 AM  

  • BTW, are you saying that I should go with your view because it is the longer-standing, more traditional, "time-tested" view?

    Rose: Hold on until I ask Jeremiah

    :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 8:52:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I am looking forward to your thoughts....no rush.

    Missy, Thanks for your reply. I do think it is cool that you were discussing these things in your pre-teen class...will they let a 43yr old attend???...I would like to hear the discussion :)

    "Was God's promise to Abraham spiritual salvation?"

    I don't think the promise God made to him was salvation, I think that Abraham believing God would do what he said he would do in raising up an offspring (the Messiah) who will bless the world is evidence of his salvation. Just my understanding. I enjoy hearing others. Thanks.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 9:10:00 AM  

  • Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for your comments. I have to ask you to clarify the following.

    Abe is an OT saint, and the content of his faith is less than what is required by both sides, namely belief in Jesus.

    Are you stating that those of us on the NT side have more required of us regarding faith? I am not sure I followed your thoughts correctly.

    Didn't Abraham's faith include believing that God was going to raise up an offspring (singular, Messiah) through his seed and that that all nations would be blessed by that offspring?

    So the content of Abe's faith isn't spelled out for us specifically, and even if it was, most people (certainly all dispensationalists) agree that the content has changed to some extent since Abraham.

    What has changed?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 9:28:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Rachel said:
    If I were to consider "repentance" as a condition for salvation, I would define it as an acknowledgement of personal sin and its offense to God, i.e. the fact that my sin separates me from God. That is the kind of "repentance" that I believe is required for salvation.


    Here is what the Bible says:

    John 16:8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: “OF SIN, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME

    2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESSPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.


    Rose said:
    To Colin: Thanks for that clarification Colin. I think I already knew that you meant that.

    and a blast from the past:

    Bless you, Colin in all your missionary endeavors as you proclaim the free gift of life in Christ Jesus, however you package that up.
    12/01/2007 9:07 AM

    This is my last post here, it’s to frustrating to me and I can clearly tell it’s just a waist of time. I’m removing these Blogs from my desktop.
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 9:41:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    I am sorry if my comments frustrated you, truly. I don't know how else to respond to these things other than the way I do. Maybe I am too nice. I don't know. God bless you and Sheelagh.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 9:46:00 AM  

  • I actually find this somewhat frustrating myself, Alvin now that I am looking over that last comment of yours some more. If Colin is preaching that a sinner can come to Christ and be saved, regardless of his other held views that he isn't shouting from the streetcorner (with which I would disagree), then why can I not wish him God's blessing in his evangelism? I keep arguing with Lou about this too, although over a different doctrinal item.

    Alvin?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 9:57:00 AM  

  • Am I the only one that considers multiple sides have it right; that it's really just semantics?

    Like the concept of repentence here. I completely agree that what saves is faith in Christ alone, and I can have faith in Christ, but without his death resurrection and all the other ways he fulfills God's promise - that faith can be credited by God as righteousness, but not with spiritual rebirth that signifies eternal life. Righteousness does NOT equal spritual rebirth - I think we all agree with that.

    There are many things that Christians hold as "requirements" for that spiritual rebirth to happen, because the sinful nature requires a little breaking before it can even see a need for a savior. NOT EVERYONE requires the same kind or intensity of breaking to see it. And I am not saying that the breaking is always a harsh or painful thing - sometimes it can be a very joyful thing or for some a series of logical arguments that win them over. But I am saying that it is ALWAYS from God for the purpose of bringing me to see a need for a savior. Then he makes sure I meet the Savior he provided.

    I propose that the reason we have so many definitions for repentence is because we almost universally see that breaking and the softening of our heart that comes from it as "repentence" which seems common enough in our speech - but when we dig deeper, for each of us that is a profoundly unique experience.

    And this is something that God does TO us, not something that we do. It is a gift, not a requirement. It goes hand-in-hand with salvation - but you can't tell me to "just do it" because my salvation won't occur until God chooses the time to give repentence to me.

    Does that make sense?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 12:11:00 PM  

  • Missy,

    Repentance is commanded of all men everywhere (Acts 17:30)while the impenitent are judged - obviously for not obeying the command (Romans 2:4) Paul shewed both Jew and Gentile that they should repent and turn to God (Acts 26:20)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 12:17:00 PM  

  • Colin,

    So if He commands us to respond with repentence, would he not also provide an opportunity to do so?

    Missy

    By Blogger Missy, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 12:38:00 PM  

  • Missy,

    Thanks. I think we do agree. I did run across the Hebrew word used in Gen 15 for Righteousness. It could be used in a reference to justification/salvation.

    Definition of hqdc (Hebrew Word)

    justice, righteousness
    righteousness (in government)
    of judge, ruler, king
    of law
    of Davidic king Messiah
    righteousness(of God's attribute)
    righteousness (in a case or cause)
    righteousness, truthfulness
    righteousness (as ethically right)
    righteousness (as vindicated), justification, salvation

    Just a little Hebrew can be a dangerous thing :).

    Good discussion though. I appreciate the way to express your points.

    So, can I come to your pre-teen class? :)

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 12:47:00 PM  

  • Colin,

    The context of Acts 17 does not at all seem very different than what I just said. Everyone keeps saying this verse, that verse all say to repent - but from what? This passage says to repent from ignorance, specifically the ignorance of self-reliance. There is no indication from this scripture that it will be rewarded - but that those who continue to be self-reliant will no longer be overlooked.

    Missy

    Acts 17:
    24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

    29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

    By Blogger Missy, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 12:50:00 PM  

  • Kurt,

    So I could be 90% correct? ;)

    Those odds are better than I expected!

    Missy

    By Blogger Missy, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 1:01:00 PM  

  • And, yes, you can come to the class but I'll put you to work! Pre-teens have a shorter attention span than toddlers.

    Missy

    By Blogger Missy, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 1:02:00 PM  

  • Missy,

    Good one. :)

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 1:03:00 PM  

  • Missy,

    If ignorance is a sin to be repented of…then surely every other sin (which is equally as odious to God) ought likewise to be repented of? Since it is sinners (in general) who are called to repentance (Luke 5:32) and there is joy over the repenting sinner in Heaven (Luke 15:7) and that repentance and remission of sins form part of the Great Commission to be preached among all nations (Luke 24:17) then it would appear that the sinner is to repent of his sins. John expected there to be fruit or evidence of repentance and when pressed to individual details, he was looking for a turning away from the sins of discontentment and greed and violence etc., (Luke 3:14)

    The only thing that prevents sinners from repenting is their own stubbornness and love of sin (John 3:19) The command to repent flows from God’s righteous nature (He cannot hold His creatures to do anything less) and is not dependent on the sinful and willing inability of the sinner to perform that which is commanded. Someone who can’t keep his fingers out of other people’s pockets (i.e. a thief) is still subject to the demands of the law of the land regardless.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 1:09:00 PM  

  • Colin,

    I don't necessarily disagree with you. My point is you have used a scripture to claim that repentence of ALL sin is REQUIRED, while I read that specific scripture you gave (in context) to only address repentence from the ignorance described therein, and that it does not indicate in this specific scripture that this is required for spiritual rebirth.

    I, too, believe God desires that we all turn away from our sin. And scripture certainly supports that in abundance. My point was, I don't think we really differ as much theologically as semantically. You believe that regeneration leads to repentence which signifies (or is) rebirth, while I think I believe (still working it out!) that God leads us to a SPECIFIC repentence that signifies (or is) rebirth. (See Mark 10:17-27) Where we differ, I think, is where that force that leads us to repentence occurs - internally or externally.

    Would you not agree that there is specific sin or sins in every man that make it harder for him to accept God's promise of Jesus - and, although there are many common ones, not every man shares the same one(s)?

    Would you tell me to repent from alcoholism if I don't even drink? And if I did have a problem with drinking, do you think simply telling me to stop would suffice? Maybe it would - maybe I care enough about you that it hits me directly in the heart, and I stop immediately. Then again, maybe I get thrown in jail for disorderly conduct shortly after you tell me, and the combination of the two makes it click that this is not good. Or worse yet, after I am released, I get drunk to celebrate and lose my legs in an accident - and then I see my folly. Or maybe nothing works, and I am killed in another accident - forever unrepentant from my alcoholism.

    Can you see why there might be so many versions of what repentence is and why we are so often very quick to determine whether someone is or is not repentent within the scope of our own experience? Can you also see that without God leading us to it repentence is something we would never do on our own?

    Missy

    By Blogger Missy, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 2:02:00 PM  

  • Colin,

    I plan on looking at the other verses you provided in your last comment, I just had to finish that previous thought out for "testing." And now I have to glue a moustache on my 11-year-old. Hopefully, I will be back this evening. I appreciate your patience with me!

    Missy

    By Blogger Missy, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 2:08:00 PM  

  • Missy,

    Take your time! This Brit is heading for bed. I'll get a look at your latest posting in the morning in more depth.

    (I wonder is Matthew all tucked up already?) Wi' his slippers at the side of the bed? :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 2:13:00 PM  

  • Colin,

    First, I am curious why you picked out all the "tax collector" verses in Luke. Did you know I was a tax collector? :)

    As I am reading this, I see your point when I make common assumptions. So my goal here is to examine those assumptions:

    If ignorance (regarding self-reliance) = a sin to be repented of, then all sin must be repented of.

    At face value, this is illogical. However, you have some qualifying statements that may clarify:

    Would the above If>Then statement would be true if A, B and C are also true?

    Wherein:

    A = Sinners are called to repentance
    I agree, obviously non-sinners would not need to repent. :) Jesus certainly supports this assumption in Luke 5:32.

    B = There is joy over the repenting sinner in Heaven
    I also agree - repentance is a good thing it should be rejoiced over. And again, Jesus supports this in Luke 15:7. I also notice that in that same verse (as well as Luke 5:32) Jesus implies that there may be righteous persons who "do not need to repent." What do you make of that - is it tongue-in-cheek to the Pharisees against their superiority?

    C = Repentance and remission of sins form part of the Great Commission to be preached among all nations
    Yes, I see this, too. To ever truly accept and receive the blessing of forgiveness, I must recognize my err and turn from it. Although I see this specific scripture as a prophecy of which the disciples are a witness to rather than a command, Jesus does say repentance for forgiveness will be preached among all nations in Luke 24:47. It is not, however, entirely specific as what to repent of - but it is specific as to what is forgiven - sin. It is most likely that it is sin that is to be repented of, but in a literal sense, to me it reads (in context with verses 45 and 46) as though the repentance could be related to or for the suffering of Christ. And it neither specifies all sin.

    In general, I agree with A, B and C. But do they solidly qualify your If>Then statement? I am not convinced, but there may be other common assumptions I am missing. As far as Luke 3:14, can that be a little far-reaching to make your point? Did the repentance for forgiveness of sin that John offered provide spiritual rebirth? In context, this scripture appears to support what I have stated earlier. In the scripture prior to verse 14, John individually - and very specifically - addresses the sins each man is to repent of, and often by trade (ah, another tax collector verse!). John was in the practice of preparing hearts for Jesus - not granting eternal life.

    Read John 3:19 and 20 again. I don't think this scripture indicates a lack of repentance as much as a resistance to it based on fear. It does not state that man loves sin, but rather the darkness that hides his sin because he knows his deeds are evil. I do think this scripture supports that repentance will occur in those who believe - but it seems to say that the belief occurs prior to repentance when your scope widens through verses 18-21.

    And Colin, please know that I am not attempting to debate you point by point. This just got deep for me, and I am trying to illustrate how I am thinking through it.

    I am not sure I fully understand the meaning of your last paragraph - please help!

    "The command to repent flows from God’s righteous nature (He cannot hold His creatures to do anything less) and is not dependent on the sinful and willing inability of the sinner to perform that which is commanded. Someone who can’t keep his fingers out of other people’s pockets (i.e. a thief) is still subject to the demands of the law of the land regardless.

    Again, ever so grateful for your patience,
    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 8:35:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose and Missy,

    Missy: No, I didn’t know you were a tax collector…but I won’t shun you anyway :o) (I suppose someone has to do it)

    Re: Repentance, I think we both see the need of it, but maybe find it hard to define (at least in a simple fashion.) It is one of those matters where the fruit of it is better described than the workings of it. We agree that it is required in that the Apostles preached it as part of the Great Commission, whether we use Luke 24:47 as a proof text or not (although the wording of Luke 24:47 is that it should be preached etc.,)

    When it comes to repentance for all sin, I don’t anticipate something akin to sitting in a Confessional Box trying to remember every last sin ever committed and then being worried to death if some actual thought or word or deed failed to make the list. While we take a broad view, yet it is broadly comprehensive. By coming to Christ, I have declared Him to be my Lord and Saviour. I see that it is incompatible then to continue on in sin and that if God hates sin, then I must hate it also. He is a Saviour from sin (Matthew 1:21) a Deliverer from this present evil world (Galatians 4:4) Therefore I repent of sin as sin (and so, by inference, all sins, whether I can actually identify them or not) and (as the fruit of my repentance) seek to live a holy life.

    Re: repenting of some sin as opposed to all sin I don’t think that there is really any sin we can bring before God and say “I want to hold unto this one!” The rich young ruler wanted to retain his sinful love of money and the Saviour let him go away sorrowful.

    In John 3:19-20, the hiding of the sin is because sin is loved. Men (to give an example) are lovers of pleasure (i.e. sinful pleasure) rather than lovers of God etc.,

    My last sentence re: the giving of repentance by God was in response to your query as to whether God gives or enables repentance if He requires it. I do not read in the Bible that He grants repentance to all men without exception. My reply was pointing out that He is under no obligation to do so. This does not relieve man of his duty to repent. Should the sinner then discern that he seems caught between a rock and a hard place, then he should cry out to God for mercy…and in so crying, he will find it. Where there is a refusal to do so, the cause of the refusal is not the withholding of such mercy from God, but the sinner’s stubborn and obstinate desire for and love of sin. When all is said and done, the sinner damns his own soul through his own personal sin.

    I hope this helps. I appreciate you discussing these things with me.

    Regards,

    P/s Missy, Do you have any Bible commentaries? I highly recommend the “old favourite” which ought to be in every Christian household: Matthew Henry. The full set is 6 massive volumes, (which includes the entire text/Scripture but they are relatively cheap to buy and very easy to read. Christian Books Depot are doing them for $60.00 (including CD) – they are of course available free from e-sword.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:12:00 AM  

  • Missy,

    When I come to your pre-teen class.....can you hand me my tax refund check? :)

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 5:58:00 AM  

  • Missy, I also have a copy of Matthew Henry's commentary (the concise version). It is edifying, though of a different theology to my own.

    I would recommend your purchasing the Bible Knowledge Commentary, edited by Walvoord and Zuck. It is blessed to contain contributions by Zane Hodges on Hebrews and the epistles of John.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 6:53:00 AM  

  • Colin,

    Technically, the way the employer and gov't collects first here, I might be considered a "tax refunder," but essentially I make my money off of calculating people's tax burden. Make of that what you will. :)

    Yes, we both see the necessity of repentance, and yet find it hard to define; that has been my point all along, so I am glad you agree!

    I see a distinction between "should be preached" and "will be preached" so I will have to look at Luke 24:47 with more resources. I read it as repentance will be preached, and that what is preached should be heeded.

    In a practical sense, I find it inconsistent to believe that ALL sin must be repented of for forgiveness and yet still believe you have been forgiven of those sins while still sinning - for as much as I like you, I cannot presume you never sin - or even repent of it immediately when you do (but I could be wrong!) And I know without a doubt I sin and often fail to repent until driven to it - and I am almost just as positive that I will continue to do this for the rest of my life. Yet, I also know I am forgiven as I assume you believe the same of yourself. My implication of the necessity to repent of "some sin" is not as you describe (i.e., "I want to hold on this one"), and if you understand me a little better, you may agree with what I say here: my meaning is the necessity to repent of KNOWN sin for forgiveness. In the story of the rich young ruler, Jesus made him aware of this sin he was most likely unaware of. By his own description, he thought he was a good person, and I often speculate that he simply assumed Jesus would say, "Good job, man! No worries, you're in!"

    What version of John 3:19-20 are you reading? MY NASB says:

    19"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

    20"For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.


    I am not saying that man can't love his sin, but this clearly says man loves the hiding of the sin in the darkness as he fears exposure of his deeds.

    I, too, do not read in the Bible that God grants repentance to all men - I did not word that carefully enough in my earlier statement. I do read in the Bible that God grants the opportunity of repentance to all men if He requires it – just as He supplies all our needs. The justice that occurs from that may not be apparent - life is not "fair" - but explains to me why consequences are not consistent, i.e., some need to "hit rock bottom" as the saying goes, and some do not. He is certainly under no obligation to offer this, but ff God is Love, he most assuredly would.

    This will sound very arrogant, and most likely is, but I find commentaries riddled with assumptions I do not share or find difficult to agree to without in-depth pre-studies (and if I had the time, you must know I would do so). I find it a very scary thing to build understanding of my faith on tradition, but not altogether wrong. I am sure one day very soon I will be indoctrinated by a system of theology, but I rather enjoy the open meadows of spiritual exploration for the moment. I do, however, reference multiple commentaries on e-Sword and Bible Gateway as well as multiple translations of the Bible, when I struggle with harmony in my understanding of scripture. I also rely heavily on others to point out that my strange thoughts are not as apparent as I think they are. But please know I appreciate the kind way that you and Matthew point that out to me. :)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 7:18:00 AM  

  • Hi Missy,

    I appreciate you taking time to really think these things out and to discuss them at length. That is always a good thing.

    Yes - just in case there were any doubters :o) – I do sin and that every single day. Even our most pious acts and thoughts are imperfect. As said before, I cannot know, never mind recount them all, so I have a definite position whereby I am at war with ALL sin. I just wish that my practice matched my theology on this one, but it doesn’t always and therefore I have an ongoing need of the continual cleansing of the blood of Christ. At no time do I ever excuse my sin with any special pleading (e.g. the immoral bombardment that this age of mass communication brings etc.,) – I know what is required of me, I know what others have done and are doing and what provision is made for me. Therefore in my quiet times before God, I repent (express sorrow for and a desire to depart from) all sin in my life. I am also aware of what I cannot achieve in this life (sinless perfection) and also the need to get up and run the race, even when the Devil manages to bundle me into the mire. Just get up again and keep the eye on Christ. We can navel gaze (Do you have that expression in America?) a tad too long.

    If you are not happy with my proof texts, but can think of others, then go for them. I am just anxious to get us to the place whereby that, as Believers, we are at war with sin as sin and that because we are in love with God.

    Re: commentaries. They are worth having. None of them are infallible, and many of them are a lot better than the diet which constant blogging expeditions can bring unto our plate. Except my helpings, of course :o) The beauty of whole Bible commentaries is that you can follow through various verses and so piece together good and helpful teaching and practical advice.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 8:45:00 AM  

  • Colin,

    We can certainly agree that all of this plays out in a practical sense just as you describe. I try to do and rely on the very same in my own life!

    I am not unhappy with your proof texts - I am always happy to be fed scripture. :) We come at this from different perspectives, connotations, traditions and assumptions (along with a million other differences I suppose). I imagine my background being raised in the Southern Baptist tradition by an atheist would be unique to your experience. I have attempted to be transparent in my consideration, and you have given me much to think about as reward.

    I will also consider your recommendation of commentaries, but if I become indoctrinated before I am ready I may blame you for a time, so please accept my apology in advance.

    Graciously,
    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 8:59:00 AM  

  • Missy,

    Blame me and Matthew Henry for all that is blameworthy. :o)

    Give God the glory for all that is good

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 9:11:00 AM  

  • Colin,

    Beware, I will remember. :)

    Kurt,

    I missed your comment earlier. Absolutely, but that will cost you, too; it is my livlihood you know.

    Matthew,

    You know I will certainly consider your recommendations as well. Balanced indoctrination is always preferred. :)

    Off to prepare to see an Elton John concert (yippee!), have a fine day all. And many thanks to you, Rose. After some of the tension lately, this was a nice discussion.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:08:00 PM  

  • Kurt,
    I am sorry it took so long for me to get back to this:

    In Gen. 15:6, what did Abraham (Abram at the time) believe that was counted to him as righteousness?....and was this the evidence of his "salvation"? If so, I don't see repentance or the cross being a part of it. I believe that Abraham believed that God would do what he said he would do. He had faith. If it is not his "salvation", then what did Abraham have to believe in order to be saved?

    It seems simple enough - he "believed God" - was he skeptical of the things God was telling him? It says he believed God. Kurt, all of this discussion got me digging into Charles Ryrie's book that I read last fall. I was looking and looking for a quote that I thought I typed in somehwere, but I think I never had... and only had meant to. So now I have typed it in and posted it on the main page of this blog. I think you will find it interesting and will find that it basically picks up on another aspect this discussion.

    Thanks for your patience!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, March 11, 2008 7:15:00 AM  

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