[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)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Schooley Files: Reasons to remain a Calvinist

The Schooley Files: Reasons to remain a Calvinist

Thanks for directing me to this one, Dawn.

95 Comments:

  • Hi Matthew:

    Sorry this post is quite long, but worth persevering over :o)

    REASONS TO REMAIN A FREE GRACER:

    1) If you think that preaching repentance to the unconverted is preaching a works gospel, then fine: Remain a Free Gracer!

    We, Evangelicals, more or less agree with J. Vernon McGhee [comments on Ephesians 2:8-9] who answered the objection that one hadn’t been given the gift of faith with these words: ”That’s not your problem. Your problem is that you don’t want to give up your sins which the Bible condemns. Whenever you get sick of your sins, when you want to turn from yourself, from the things of the world, from religion, from everything the Bible condemns, and turn to Christ, then you will be given faith. You can trust Him.” (Actually, many of us believe that repentance flows from faith, rather than leads to faith as suggested by Mr McGhee, but we are one with him in the thought that a man cannot come savingly to Christ while determined to hold unto his sins.)

    2) If you think that denying that someone who says that they believe in Jesus for everlasting life and then becomes an apostate, a chronic atheist etc., will still get to heaven is a travesty of John 6:47 etc., then fine: Remain a Free Gracer!

    We, non Arminian Evangelicals, look for the evidence of the possession of the Holy Spirit who graciously, powerfully and infallibly enables God’s people to persevere unto the end. We run with HA Ironside’s comments: But, on the other hand, I am not so enthusiastic about the other expression, “the perseverance of the saints.” I believe in it; I believe that all saints--all really belonging to God--will persevere to the end, for the Book tells me, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), and if a man starts out and makes a profession but gives it all up, he will never be saved, because he was never born again to begin with, he was never truly changed by grace divine. On the other hand, the reason he endures to the end is not because of any particular perseverance of his own. What I believe in, and what the Word of God clearly teaches, is the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. When He begins a work, He never gives up until it is completed. That is our confidence. [Eternal Security]

    3)
    If you think that saying “It costs to be a Christian” is a typical statement by a works gospeller, then fine: Remain a Free Gracer!


    We, Evangelicals, are quite happy to say so. Brother J. Vernon McGhee was happy to use this expression. In his comments on Luke 14:28-30, he says: ”It will cost something to make a decision for Christ. It will cost something to be His disciples. Think it over, friends, you should count the cost before you make the decision.” True, he goes on to make the difference between a Christian and a Disciple, but it is clear that he expects the interested enquirer to think long and hard because while salvation is a free gift, yet it does cost to be a Christian.

    4) If you think that a professing Christian can live in sin and still be considered to be a true believer, then fine: be a Free Gracer!

    We, Evangelicals, run again with J. Vernon McGhee who wrote: ”It is clearly understood that the unregenerate man who practices these sins has no portion in the kingdom of Christ and God. If a professing Christian practices these sins, he immediately classifies himself. No matter what his testimony may be on Sunday or what position he may have in the church, such a person is saying to the lost world that he is not a child of God. To live in the corruption of the flesh is to place one’s self beyond the pale of a child of God.” [Comments on Ephesians 5:5]

    Again: Someone may say, ‘Wait a minute. You said a child of God could confess a sin and come back into fellowship with God.’ That is right, but a child of God cannot confess a sin and continue in that sin. That is a dead giveaway that such a person is not a child of God.” [Comments on Ephesians 5:4, following his statement: ”Fornication is a sin. Regardless of where you are or who you are, if you are living in fornication today, you cannot be a child of God.”]

    I’m sure there’s more I could add to that, but I’ve plenty to do today. Enough there for us all to chew on!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 5:33:00 AM  

  • Thanks for sharing that, Colin.

    I am afraid I really do not understand how a thing can be both free and costly. Those two things seem to be mutually contradictory.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 5:50:00 AM  

  • Matthew:

    What do you think JVM (whom some would seem to think ran with the FG view point) meant when he said:

    ”It will cost something to make a decision for Christ. It will cost something to be His disciples. Think it over, friends, you should count the cost before you make the decision”?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 8:17:00 AM  

  • 'Making a decision' is not an expression that I use.

    The believer must decide to yield His life to the service of the Saviour one must continually refuse sin and choose what is right.

    However, I would never confuse this with believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for eterrnal life. If JVM did that I am very sorry, but that is that.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 8:43:00 AM  

  • Hi Colin,
    I do find it slightly amusing how you always bring up JVM. (I'm pretty sure you do this for my benefit.)
    ;~)
    Look, I like JVM but that doesn't mean that he didn't say some things that aren't exactly as I vie them. I am allowed to like a teacher who sometimes said things I don't agree with.

    Besides, I don't think the quote you just repeated in your second comment here necessarily is antithetical to my views.

    God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, July 04, 2008 10:51:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I love that article you linked to. Great stuff!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, July 04, 2008 10:51:00 AM  

  • Colin,
    We would have to see what he was saying about Luke 14:28-30 where you are quoting from to see what 'decision' he is refering to. If I have time I will check it out today.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, July 04, 2008 10:53:00 AM  

  • Rose writes:

    I do find it slightly amusing how you always bring up JVM. (I'm pretty sure you do this for my benefit.);~)

    My reply: :o)

    Let's say, Rose, I usually think of you when I head for him. I have only his Volume 5 on 1 Corinthians to Revelation, plus a paperback on Luke's gospel. So you get off pretty light :0)

    I mention him for this reason. Along with HA Ironside, I have seen him quoted in FG circles as if he were one of them/yours. I don't think that either of them really were. They preached repentance in the sense of forsaking sin as the fruit of faith etc., and (as seen) did not tolerate the modern notion that professing Chrsitians could live in sin and be considered true Christians. There hasn't been too many other Evangelicals from the past quoted in the FG circles- for pretty obvious reasons - so I am kinda limited here. I'm not getting at you when I quote JVM, but it is humourous for a Calvinist - Oops, who said that? - to be able to quote non Calvinists in the defense of his views.

    Nice to know that you seem to agree with the second quote. Some of the FG community, as you probably know, disagree strongly then with us both (all)then. it will be interesting to see the response of others to these things.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 12:46:00 PM  

  • Colin, you quote JVM.

    Antonio has quoted John Calvin and Gordon Clark far more often in defence of FG.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:05:00 PM  

  • John Calvin would probably turn in his grave :o)

    Calvin's views on the necessity of repentance and what constitutes repentance put him far from the FG camp - or at least, Antonio's faction within it. Remember the holy row there was over his oft quoted words about faith alone justifying, but the faith that justifies is never alone? (JVM quotes that at least 3 times in Vol. 5 of his "Thru the Bible" set.) Sheeeesh"!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:15:00 PM  

  • Antonio has never claimed that Calvin was FG. And I would not call JVM consistently FG, if it is at all helpful to call him that even.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:22:00 PM  

  • Colin,
    I have to tell you I got quite a chuckle this afternoon when I actually looked in Volume 4 of McGee’s commentary and read the section from which you took your quote. For the readers’ pleasure, I have typed in the whole thing. The bolded portion is the quote that you provided us with, but as anyone can see, JVM was clearly speaking of the cost of discipleship when he speaks of counting that cost of [making] a decision for Christ – not counting the cost of coming to Christ initially for salvation, which he clearly saw (as we can gather from this section in his book) had no strings attached.

    ____________________

    [Luke 14:25-27]

    These verses are simply saying that we should put God first. A believer’s devotedness to Jesus Christ should be such that, by comparison, it looks as if everything else is hated. All terms which define affections are comparative.

    [Luke 14:28-30]

    It will cost something to make a decision for Christ. It will cost something to be His disciples. Think it over, friends, you should count the cost before you make the decision.

    [Luke 14:31-33]

    A person can be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, but a person will never follow and serve Him until he is willing to make a sacrifice. That is what this passage is teaching. There is a difference between being a believer and being a disciple. Unfortunately, not all believers are disciples.

    [Luke 14:34-35]

    Nothing is worse than salt that has lost its saltiness. May the Lord deliver us from being useless Christians!
    ____________________

    Good day, Colin! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:26:00 PM  

  • Well, Rose, perhaps he was FG in a meaningful sense.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:28:00 PM  

  • Matthew,
    After reading the ENTIRE section from JVM that I provided above, would you not think he was FG-leaning at least?

    (not that it really matters anyways, the truth is what counts, not how many or who holds to it... or to what degree. But just for fun, whaddaya think?)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:29:00 PM  

  • Ha! We were posting at the same time - you answered the question I was asking!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:30:00 PM  

  • Yes, that would seem to be the case.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:30:00 PM  

  • I think Rose, I did acknowledge the context, did I not? (Without quoting it all in what was already a pretty long posting).

    What in the very day parlance of Christians is "a decision for Christ?" I think that overall, he was calling the enquirer about salvation to count the cost. Matthew, above, admits to difficulties about something being free and yet having a cost. This, to me, is no more unusual than a man losing his life to save it.

    I assume that you disagree with his other quotes from Ephesians 5? These are only representative quotes.

    How enthusiastically run with HAI's quote? Apart from his dislike of the phrase "Perseverance/saints" I would endorse him 100% on this one, including his use of the text about enduring unto the end.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:37:00 PM  

  • Colin, it is clear from the context that a decision for Christ here is not about receiving eternal life.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:53:00 PM  

  • Matthew: How would you describe/define this post regeneration "decision for Christ?"
    Have you made it?

    I assume that you wouldn't run either with his meaning views from Ephesians 5?

    Regards,

    P/s What's the weather like in your part of England at the moment? It poured here in Cork all day and it is still very stormy. It looked dry enough at Wimbleton.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 2:07:00 PM  

  • It was raining this evening, but not too bad earlier.

    I think JVM's comments on Ephesians are confused.

    I think a lot of moderate FGers are confused.

    As regards post-regeneration decision, I think that is more of a daily decision, rather than a single transaction. Though perhaps one can live an higher life where the conscious decision is not really necessary. Perhaps.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, July 04, 2008 2:19:00 PM  

  • Hi Colin

    We, non Arminian Evangelicals, look for the evidence of the possession of the Holy Spirit who graciously, powerfully and infallibly enables God’s people to persevere unto the end. We run with HA Ironside’s comments: But, on the other hand, I am not so enthusiastic about the other expression, “the perseverance of the saints.” I believe in it; I believe that all saints--all really belonging to God--will persevere to the end, for the Book tells me, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), and if a man starts out and makes a profession but gives it all up, he will never be saved, because he was never born again to begin with, he was never truly changed by grace divine. On the other hand, the reason he endures to the end is not because of any particular perseverance of his own. What I believe in, and what the Word of God clearly teaches, is the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. When He begins a work, He never gives up until it is completed. That is our confidence. [Eternal Security]
    ===================================

    But how do you know that it is the Holy Spirit who is enabling your perseverance? Remember Sproul's dilemma:


    ===================================
    Dr. R.C. Sproul candidly admitted that he wasn't sure he was saved in a TableTalk article a few years back (Nov 6, 1989, p. 20). He began:

    A while back I had one of those moments of acute self-awareness that we have from time to time, and suddenly the question hit me: "R.C., what if you are not one of the redeemed? What if your destiny is not heaven after all, but hell?" Let me tell you that I was flooded in my body with a chill that went from my head to the bottom of my spine. I was terrified.

    A few sentences later he confirmed his doubts,

    I thought, "Maybe it's really true. Maybe I'm not saved after all."

    His conclusion to the report of the episode reveals his understanding that assurance of salvation is something less than certainty:

    I could not be sure about my own heart and motivation. Then I remembered John 6:68. Jesus had been giving out hard teaching, and many of His former followers had left Him. When He asked Peter if he was also going to leave, Peter said, "Where else can I go? Only you have the words of eternal life." In other words, Peter was also uncomfortable,2 but he realized that being uncomfortable with Jesus was better than any other option. 3

    Is "being uncomfortable with Jesus," as Dr. Sproul and many leaders in Christendom today suggest, really "better than any other option"?

    http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1997/97may2.html

    ===================================
    And what about your own life: how do you know for sure that the Holy Spirit has started the good work in your life? Thousands of people who are not Christians could use the same parameters that you use and there would be no distinguishable difference between the outward appearances of the two.

    BTW, folks, GES is equally hard on both Calvinists and non-Calvinists:

    ===================================

    Quote
    An integral part of Calvinism and of Reformed Theology, in general, is the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. It is represented by the ‘P' in the TULIP acrostic which represents the five-point Calvinistic position.[1] The Arminian side of the controversy confronts Calvinism on this point and asks, "What happens to believers who fail in their Christian life experience?" The Calvinist says that a person who fails to stay or be kept in grace by God's almighty power demonstrates that he never truly believed. God is not obligated to keep in grace those who are not His. So, such a person goes to hell because he is only a professor of the faith, but was never a possessor thereof. Some who lean toward the Arminian persuasion do not think that a believer can lose his eternal salvation, but the standard Arminian position is that it is possible to fall away from the faith and lose possession of one's eternal life. In both Calvinism and Arminianism, the bottom line is that the disobedient or pseudo believer is not allowed into heaven and is destined to incur God's eternal wrath in hell.[2] The believer must, therefore, either 1) prove his faith is genuine and that his relation to Christ is real to the end of his life (per the Calvinist) or 2) he must keep the relation to Christ intact by his obedience so as not to break or relinquish that eternally saving association with Him (per the Arminian).

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2005ii/badger.html

    By Blogger Anton, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 2:18:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight/Matthew

    I've got good news! I'm here with my hampster and he's not dead! He was just taking a nap, I've been known to be a little long winded. So if you have to take a nap too I'll understand. Who's counting words anyway?
    Oh yes, Goodnight your wrong! It's always good to get off to a good start!

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 8:13:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton,

    Thank you for your contribution to our discussion here.

    Forgive me for not following through your links as time is not on my side. Let me simply tell you on what I base my assurance of salvation. Although I take (as we all ought to do) great comfort from my election of God (i.e. the election of me which comes from God) yet I take my assurance from the promise of the gospel. As we both know, the offer and promise of the gospel is very clear and plain: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There I cast my soul for eternity and if I perish, I perish and God must rewrite the Bible or continue to live a lie.

    Once you stand on this rock, then it matters not what big breakers and wave fling their might against it.

    See you in Heaven!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 8:37:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    "Putting the cart before the horse"

    As we both know, the offer and promise of the gospel is very clear and plain: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    Yes but first you MUST believe His promise of eternal life. Let's not get the cart before the horse. It's believers that call on the name of the Lord for deliverance! And nowhere does it say he who believes the gospel will have eternal life. Gospel is a broad term taking in justification truth and sanctification truth. And the word "Gospel" is not found one time in the Gospel of John which was written for the purpose that the lost might have life!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 8:54:00 AM  

  • Forgive me for sharing a joke with you all here. I hope it travels well across the Atlantic. If not, I hope it travels across the Irish Sea to Matthew. Then I hope you all find it funny. The dead hamster bit inspired it.

    A woman takes her duck into the vet in tears. “I think it’s dead” she said, “But I want you to make sure.” The vet barely glances at it, say’s “Yep, it’s dead” and then goes to the cash register, rings up his bill and says “That’s £25.00 please.” The woman is horrified. “ What!” she protests, “£25 for that. You never checked for a pulse or anything. You just looked at it and assumed that it was dead. It may be just unconscious or something like that.”

    The vet doesn’t say a word, but whistles. The door opens and a cat comes in and jumps up unto the counter. He turns the duck over with its paw, shakes his head sadly and jumps down, before leaving the room. The vet whistles again. This time, a big golden dog comes in and jumps up. He sniffs the duck, shakes his head sadly and jumps down before leaving the room.

    “There you are, Madam,” says the vet. “That’ll be £150, please.” The woman nearly passes out with rage. “£150! Just a moment ago, it was £25!”

    “Yes,” said the vet, “but that before you got the cat scan and the lab report.”

    :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 8:56:00 AM  

  • Alvin writes: And nowhere does it say he who believes the gospel will have eternal life.

    If the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes – does this salvation include eternal life?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 9:12:00 AM  

  • I believe the gospel includes it, but it is far more than that.

    The gospel embraces the whole of God's good news for the cosmos- the renwal of the earth, the purification of the heavens, the restoration of Israel, the blessing of the nations under godly rule, the conversion of sinners with their justification and present and future enjoyment of eternal life, their sanctification, their overcoming the powers of this worl, their resurrection and glorification, their inheritance of the kingdom and enjoyment of heavenly rewards and their eternal fellowship with the Triune God.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 9:16:00 AM  

  • Matthew: Are you at odds then with Alvin who seems (if I read him right) to exclude the eternal life part?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 9:28:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight/Matthew

    I was happy to inspire your joke! I enjoyed it immensely!!!

    And I must give a BIG Amen to Sir Matthew!!!!


    Going for a tandem with my daughter…toot..a..loo..and hip…hip!!!
    alvinstien

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 9:34:00 AM  

  • Colin, I leave that to Alvin to clarify.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 9:35:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    I couldn't say it any better then Matthew did.
    Eternal life is included in the Gospel but gospel is not a technical term for believing in Jesus for eternal life. The gospel includes much more and is for unbelievers and believers having to do with justification truth and sanctification truth, judgment and the coming Kingdom (Mark 1:4,14-15; 16:15,16; Rom 1:15; Gal 2:11-21; 1 Cor 15:1-58; Rev 14:6,7).

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 8:28:00 PM  

  • Colin,

    That was a very good joke, I have heard that one before on this side of the pond.

    So would you agree with JVM that one who lives in fornication cannot be a christian? How about one who has been divorced? Surely no true child of God would divorce their spouse and break the covenant?

    How exactly do you define "practice"? What frequency would it need to be in order to qualify?

    God bless,
    Jim

    p.s. I have enjoyed this witty banter.

    By Blogger Jim, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 8:42:00 PM  

  • Alvin:

    I agree with Matthew and yourself that the gospel is much more than having eternal life, but I cannot run with your two statements:

    [i] Gospel is not a technical term for believing in Jesus for eternal life. I assuming that your “not” here is pretty emphatic and not relative. I assume this on the observation that you state it in a qualification to explain an earlier matter. Since I believe that the term “Gospel” embraces eternal life (and all the other things) then I am prepared to let the wider umbrella term cover all that shelters beneath it. Perhaps the issue here is in how we state something rather than the thing itself.

    [ii] Your original statement: No matter how charitably I try to view these words, ”And nowhere does it say he who believes the gospel will have eternal life. yet I cannot excuse them. Do you have people truly believing the gospel and yet not having eternal life? Do you wish to retract this statement?

    Jim:

    Glad that you enjoyed the little joke along with the banter that we must introduce in these posts – if only for our own sanity :o)
    I’ll get back to you on the doctrinal matters you raised later. Suffice to say at the moment, the matter of divorce is a very contentious issue within the serious Bible student camp. I tend to run with the idea that the innocent party in a divorce can remarry. Whatever you do…don’t open up that can of worms on this posting! Perhaps another ”sin” could be substituted? I assume from your questioning here, and the comments of others, that JVM’s views on Ephesians 5 are not flavour of the month in the FG camp? There are other places where he makes similar statements about the professing Christian living in sin.

    Have a good Lord’s Day everyone!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, July 06, 2008 1:05:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight
    Yes, I did a poor job of making clear what I meant. This would be more in line with what I was trying to say.

    ”And nowhere does it say he who believes the gospel has eternal life."

    My point being it's never used in that way. If a person believed ALL the gospel (good news) of course they would be born again because the gift of eternal life is part of the good news. I apologize for the confussion.

    These are some following quotes by Bob Wilkin.

    Jesus never said: "He who believes the gospel has everlasting life."

    Most say it is the message which must be believed in order to be born again.
    But that isn't actually how the word gospel (euangelion) is used in the NT.
    Most people wrongly think that when ever this word appears it refers to what a person must do or believe to have eternal life.

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, July 06, 2008 3:28:00 AM  

  • Goodnight said:
    yet I take my assurance from the promise of the gospel. As we both know, the offer and promise of the gospel is very clear and plain: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There I cast my soul for eternity and if I perish, I perish and God must rewrite the Bible or continue to live a lie.


    I’m still a little confused on your comment Goodnight. Let me get this straight. A person is regenerated first so then they are able because God is working in them to will and to do of His good pleasure to call on the name of the Lord to save them. So a person is saved (regenerated) but not saved until they call on the name of the Lord to save them?

    You have Romans 10:9 as the offer and the promise. So your saying if one believes the Lord’s offer to save the one calling on Him, He will save them. But they can’t call until they have been saved (regenerated). And calling isn’t a work because your already saved (regenerated). And a person isn’t justified until they call on Him. Is a person sealed by the Holy Spirit after they call on Him to save them or before?

    Goodnight, I find your last remarks kind of strange:
    There I cast my soul for eternity and if I perish, I perish and God must rewrite the Bible or continue to live a lie.

    So your casting your soul on the fact that you called on Him and He promises to save the one calling on Him. But that’s not a work because your already saved (regenerated). Then you say “if I perish, I perish and God must rewrite the Bible or continue to live a lie. How about if you are misunderstanding what God is saying and who He is saying it to? Because if you were believing John 3:16 you would know you wouldn’t perish. So I believe your problem is your believing on your calling on the Lord to save you rather then believing Jesus for His gift of eternal life and the promise of one doing so will never perish. You seem to think it possible that you could still perish which would be consistent with your theology of persevering unto the end and possible having a spurious faith.

    Tell me where I’m going wrong here in understanding you?

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, July 06, 2008 5:04:00 AM  

  • Hi Jim/Alvin:

    Jim: Leaving aside the divorce matter, I agree with the tenor of JVM’s (and most Evangelicals) contention that those who live in sin cannot expect to be considered as Christians. The salvation of God is summarised in Matthew 1:21 (He shall save His people from their sins) is that the believer is saved both from the penalty and power of their sins. We know from Scripture that while the first (justification) is instantaneous, yet the second (sanctification) is a work in progress. I don’t think that JVM (nor me either) denies the sad possibility of any one falling into these sins. David did so, but the pastoral thrust of the statement is to discourage those who want to live in open and blatant sin from trying to proclaim themselves as Christians. We’re not out to be hard on struggling believers or to break the bruised reeds etc. If a Christian is struggling with some sin, then the fact that he is struggling would indicate the fruit of a Christian. It is the cock sure type of professing believer who thinks that because he ticks all the right boxes in doctrine but is as worldly (or more so) than his neighbour who makes no profession that we are aiming to be lead away from their deception.

    Those engaged in pastoral work of this kind are not required to answer about frequencies and give qualifications. We can only set forth the scriptural idea that the professing Christian is at war with sin – that there is both a “These things are written that ye sin not” and a “If any man sin” in the same breath in Scripture for those who need it (basically us all) but nothing but a call to repentance to the one who is at peace with sin and promises of assurance etc., only for him if and when he shows the evidences of being a Christian.

    Alvin: Regeneration (the bringing of the dead soul to live as in “You has he quickened”) leads automatically and immediately to faith calling upon the name of the justification etc. It is not accurate and therefore unhelpful to try and separate the two as if they could, for practical purposes, stand apart.

    The sealing of the Holy Spirit is a different thing from the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. In the order of salvation, I would see the sealing follow after the regeneration.

    Re: my statement re: “If I perish…” – I tie it in with the thought that if I do, then God is a liar etc., because I am totally relying on His promise in Romans 10:13. The “if” is the “if” of argument rather than the “if” of possibility. The Saviour himself used this kind of reasoning when He said “If it were possible to deceive the elect” I would have thought that you might have used the finishing words “See you in Heaven!” to naturally interpret the rest.

    Sorry again for this long post. I suppose it is really two posts in one.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, July 06, 2008 8:03:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    You said: I would have thought that you might have used the finishing words “See you in Heaven!” to naturally interpret the rest.

    Goodnight I was not convinced by what you said that that would be the case being you were standing on the wrong rock, a little rock, and reading the wrong letter.

    My hope was you initially read and believed the letter that was addressed to you.
    (these things were written to you)

    One does not receive the type of deliverance Paul is talking about in Romans unless they are already a Saint and standing on the right Rock.
    (To the saints at Rome)

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, July 06, 2008 10:24:00 AM  

  • Alvin:

    The text "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" is, of course, a direct quotation from Joel 2:32. It was quoted and applied by the Apostle Peter to the unsaved Jews on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:21.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, July 06, 2008 12:31:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    Romans 10:14a is the most helpful controlling verse: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?”

    Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the Lord Shall be saved.

    Acts 22:16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    Just as Saul believed first and then called on the Lord in baptism so did the ones in Acts 2:21,37,38. To have fellowship forgiveness they needed to call on the Lord in baptism and by doing so they were delivered from their sins.


    (1) The Gospel was presented to him directly by Christ (Gal. 1:11-12), not later by Ananias. (2) Already (Acts 22:10) Paul said he had submitted in faith to Christ. (3) Paul was filled with the Spirit before his baptism with water (9:17-18).

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, July 06, 2008 2:44:00 PM  

  • Colin said

    Although I take (as we all ought to do) great comfort from my election of God (i.e. the election of me which comes from God) yet I take my assurance from the promise of the gospel. As we both know, the offer and promise of the gospel is very clear and plain: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There I cast my soul for eternity and if I perish, I perish and God must rewrite the Bible or continue to live a lie.

    Once you stand on this rock, then it matters not what big breakers and wave fling their might against it.
    ===============
    Hi Colin,

    If I may be permitted to discreetly steer the topic back on course:

    Your original understanding

    A person is saved when he is:
    1. in possession of a true faith,
    2. given by grace,
    3. to the elect,
    4. evidenced by relinquishing of the sinful ways of his former life.

    IOW, none of the above are OPTIONAL.

    Your revised understanding

    A person is saved if he "calls upon the name of the Lord".

    This is a surprisinglingly reductionistic view of salvation, almost beating, for brevity, the "minimalist" view of salvation that you accuse Free Gracers of holding. Would you like to retract the new understanding, or are we to understand this as an "opening of the heart", a la Lydia?

    ;o)

    Blessings and regards

    By Blogger Anton, at Monday, July 07, 2008 12:46:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton/Alvin:

    Anton: Unsure on how I can be judged to have left course for you to steer me back unto it again! You did not indicate that you wanted a full scale doctrinal thesis and, anyway, I am too busy to supply one. I’m heading off on a holiday (vacation) in two days time, so things are pretty busy here.

    Suffice to say that there is a wealth of theology in the simple words of Romans 10:13 that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall saved.

    Romans 10:13 does not (as you seem to imply) militate against what you call my “original understanding”. If I may flesh Romans 10:13 out in a paraphrased way:

    “Whosoever calls, in a grace driven act of true faith, upon the name of the Lord shall be saved from the penalty and power of their sins.” [While the offer is to the “whosoever” – something which I decidedly guard – yet it acknowledged by all camps within the Evangelical fold that it is the elect who finally takes up the offer.]

    Therefore I have no need nor desire to retract what, again, you call my ”new understanding” If you wish to reduce it all down yourself, then it is true to say that Lydia would give a good example of one of the elect, calling with a true faith etc.,

    Alvin:

    I take the word “believe” in Romans 10:14 as “understand and accept as true” and (by extension) the word “hear” to mean “hear the facts” and the word “preach” further back down the line as “convey the truth.” By this definition of “believe” which is driven by the other verbs in the context, I can see then one hearing and even believing (in a mental sense) but not calling upon the Lord’s name and so being lost. There are many people who mentally accept the truth of the Christian faith, but still refuse to “come to Christ”. They’re the ones who sometime sit very uncomfortably in gospel meetings and get out the door as soon as they can and honestly say that they are not yet saved.

    If you wish to give the verb “believe” here a solely spiritual significance (as it has, for example in John 3:16 etc.,) then I must ask whether you give the “hearing” a solely significance, away and above the act of listening with the outward ear?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, July 07, 2008 4:30:00 AM  

  • Hi Colin,

    So you retreat back to

    A person is saved when he is:
    1. in possession of a true faith,
    2. given by grace,
    3. to the elect,
    4. evidenced by relinquishing of the sinful ways of his former life.

    Good, safe, move: you never had a snowball's with the Romans quote.

    Wonderful Romans 10!

    The synergism worldviews' dream text: replete with references to:

    Total Ability
    Conditional Election
    Unlimited Application
    Real world resistible, grace
    Rejection of the disobedient believer

    But your safety is momentary: you still have to face the implications of Sproul's dilemma.

    How are you sure that the good works in your life are of the Spirit and not of your own fleshly, pietist, efforts?

    Truly, truly, the words of the Lord apply to those holding to your views:

    Luke 11:52 "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering." (NASB)

    I know that sounds harsh, but levity aside, I believe that this is one topic that a believer needs to get right.

    Quote
    One of my psychiatric patients had been exposed to the grace-plus system, and combined with her own obsessive-compulsive personality, she succumbed to disabling guilt, frustration, and disillusionment.

    She stated, “I’m going to hell. I just know it. I haven’t done enough right.”

    I asked her to picture Christ on the Cross, to picture each of her sins driving a spike into His hand, and finally to visualize carrying all of her guilt up to the Cross and giving it to Christ. She had an anguished demeanor.

    I shared John 6:37 and Eph 2:8-9, and explained that what we do and don’t do in the Christian life is not based on a “brownie-point” system, but on faith in Christ as our Savior. Soon a serene, peaceful look came over her face. I had introduced her to grace.

    THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LORDSHIP SALVATION

    FRANK B. MINIRTH
    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1993ii/J11-93c.htm

    Intentions on opposing sides of the discussion are good: you believe that warning people about a lazy faith will hopefully alert them to the possibilty of loss of forgiveness, and the possibility that they are not the elect. (Is that idea a non-starter the way I put it? It doesn't seem to go anywhere).

    We on the other hand believe that raising the bar for entry into the Kingdom of God is unnecessary, and more important, unscriptural, and even more important, negates the very element that is responsible for salvation: grace.

    I was a staunch Calvinist and outwardly relished the clarity and cohesivesness and cleverness of the constructs (and constructs they are) in the latter view, whilst inwardly wrestling with real life, God's Scripture and the message of Christ's Gospel, all of which pointed to evidence to the contrary...

    Its the holiday season: a time to enjoy God's creation, a time to rest and recuperate and a time to let our cares and worries fall away. Hope and pray that you and yours have a wonderful time and return refreshed and revitalised, AND ready to fight the good fight, whichever rampart you decide to defend! Ultimately God will decide if those who proclaim His justice and honour were right, or those His mercy and love.

    NASB 1 Cor 3
    10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    By Blogger Anton, at Monday, July 07, 2008 2:05:00 PM  

  • Hi Anton:

    Time is not on my side today because we head off early tomorrow morning for two weeks and I have still 1001 things to do, before our church prayer meeting tonight.

    First of all, I must deny your “floorplan” in this discussion :0) You have me running here, there and yonder. I see, that I am now “retreating” again to Romans 10:13. I never left Romans 10:13 in the first place. I see you have, though- even the Fgers on this site will join with me here in praying that you didn’t give your psychiatric patient the bit about the “possibilty of loss of forgiveness” when she was on the couch.

    I do not believe in a “brownie point” salvation, so please forgive me if I decline to refute something which I do not believe. Neither am I raising the bar of entry into the Kingdom. The wicked is to forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts when he seeks the Lord and it is this that, by grace, brings him into the place where God will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:6-7) If this ” negates the very element that is responsible for salvation then I must stand accused with Isaiah the prophet.

    Your condemnation of Calvinists as summed up in the words of the Lord Jesus

    "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering." (NASB) which you heighten with a “truly, truly” (doubled, no less!)

    clearly state that, in your opinion, we are unsaved, and yet in your appreciated best-wishes-on-holiday section, you want me to come home refreshed and fight the good fight! :o)

    I find your words: ” Ultimately God will decide if those who proclaim His justice and honour were right, or those His mercy and love.” surprising. I would like to think that I am proclaiming all four of the attributes of God and not pitting the one against the other.

    If you can get back today on this, I might be able to give a few minutes later to this posting. If not, I will have to leave it as it stands. Thank you for engaging me.

    Regards

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 2:33:00 AM  

  • Hi Colin,

    "Loss of forgiveness" is the best I could do with the service that Calvinists indulge in when they preach! I know the old chestnut about sharing the gospel with the world, even if a sizeable number of them are not of the elect, because it is deemed to be "being obedient to the Lord's command" (ours is not to reason why, right?) At least hyper calvinists are consistent and follow through on the teaching of election to its logical conclusion.

    Blessings

    PS I'm getting ready for my hols too, so I understand the pressures!

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 10:10:00 AM  

  • NASB Isaiah 55
    7 Let the wicked forsake his way
    And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
    And let him return to the LORD,
    And He will have compassion on him,
    And to our God,
    For He will abundantly pardon.

    Don't you see the synonymous parallelism in the first two lines, then the next four? IOW, forsaking his way, forsaking his thoughts, returning to the Lord all mean the same thing.

    Anything else, in a wooden literal sense would require that a person purify himself BEFORE he turns to God. Bit redundant, right?

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 10:21:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 10:22:00 AM  

  • Its your "psyche" we are concerned about, Colin.

    You've hung with the bruddahs long enough, you should know the "buzz" by now!

    11 Some barely even consider this evidence. See, for example, Jenkins,
    “Faith and Works.” He mentions only two of the five uses. He writes, “In objection
    to view B, it seems unnatural to assume that James 1:21 and 2:14 refer to a
    ‘physical’ salvation rather than an eternal one, especially since the word ‘soul’
    (psyche„) and not ‘life’ (zo„e„) is used in 1:21” (74). Since psyche„ is not found in
    2:14, he is really commenting on only one of the five uses. And then his discussion
    is based on a single word and not the expression “saving the psyche”
    (so„zein te„n psyche„n), which in the Septuagint (see fn. 12) and NT always refers
    to the physical deliverance of one’s life. Compare, for example, Matt 20:28 (cf.
    27:42); Mark 3:4; 10:45 (cf. 15:30); Luke 6:9; Acts 27:22 (cf. v. 31); and 1 Pet
    3:20. When the Lord Jesus spoke of laying down His life for us, He used psyche„,
    not zo„e„ (Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 10:11, 15, 17).

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2002ii/wilkin.pdf

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 10:31:00 AM  

  • I'd have thought that the above would have been abundantly clear, in view of the following:

    1 Cor 3
    15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    And BTW, grace (and mercy and love)trumps justice and honour any day.

    Have a nice hols!

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 10:40:00 AM  

  • Anton,

    I agree with you on the point that the wicked forsaking the way and the unrighteous man their thoughts runs with the idea of turning again to the Lord. We return to the Lord (to quote Mr Wesley’s note on the text) “by sincere repentance and faith.”

    For some one who professes to have been a zealous Calvinist, you display significant ignorance of what Calvinists believe. It would be helpful if you could show from some recognised Calvinistic source that we believe that men can lose their forgiveness. Surely you know that we hold that only the elect are forgiven (once they come to faith in Christ, through the means of evangelism) and that they cannot lose their forgiveness, although they can lose the joy and assurance etc., of their salvation. An unsaved man never receives forgiveness of his sins and therefore never loses what he never had.

    I hope that you enjoy your own holiday,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 10:44:00 AM  

  • Why the haranguing then, from the pulpit? I know about the irrevocability of the call, but the you should leave well enough alone, right?

    Ryles and his somehow, somewhere,the believer will bear fruit teaches us that, right?

    Also

    Hebrews 12
    22 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Ephesians 2:10
    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

    I mean what is the point of the preaching? IOW, How does it figure in the bearing fruit scheme of things?

    Another inconsistency that forced the rethink...

    PS Don't be like another brother-in-arms: he logged in at Diss-neyland and continued his debating at a feed a nickel internet booth. Ah! I had him pumped up, no two ways about it!!!

    You can have the last word, if it helps! ;o)

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:16:00 AM  

  • Eh?

    If someone else wants to take over this thread here - I'm happy to hand over the reins.

    Any takers?

    Matthew?...Rose?...

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:20:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Anton, at Wednesday, July 09, 2008 5:46:00 AM  

  • No new topic? Will have to doodle a bit here then!

    Maybe I'm dense, but Colin's last post seemed to indicate that I may be holding views that contradict free grace teachings, hence his offer to vacate the platform forothers. Maybe he's right, but I find FG views surprisingy in agreement with many of the new thinking that's begun to appear on the Christian teaching scene and which I'm in agreement with, so we have much in common.

    But, and this is a huge but, there is one area that I do differ with all other posters on the thread and that is on interpretation, as I have mentioned before in previous posts. Let me explain.


    Let me first start by categorising the type of posters inhabiting this blog:

    Some can read great big books on theology and can understand it well and can post appropriate matter in a clear and concise manner. I have immense admiration for them!

    Some can do the above and can quote verbatim from those books (in the day of the Net, this means you can "cut and paste" and appear to be a learned scholar and not just in theology!) . You know who you are, but don't feel bad, you still have to know WHAT to post. Still plenty of admiration.

    And there are those apart from the blog, who can actually write great big books on theology! (Of course this does not mean I'm saying no one on this site can do that, i think some have this ability in them and I await with bated breath!) My admiration is without bounds!

    But the problem I have is one that applies to all the above:

    How do we know whether anyone of them is right? To illustrate the problem, I'm posting the following:
    ==================================
    Appreciated and encouraged, he continues on in this vein:
    JACK CADE.
    I thank you, good people:- there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

    And here is where Dick speaks the famous line.
    DICK.
    The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

    The audience must have doubled over in laughter at this. Far from "eliminating those who might stand in the way of a contemplated revolution" or portraying lawyers as "guardians of independent thinking", it's offered as the best feature imagined of yet for utopia. It's hilarious. A very rough and simplistic modern translation would be "When I'm the King, there'll be two cars in every garage, and a chicken in every pot" "AND NO LAWYERS". It's a clearly lawyer-bashing joke. This is further supported by the dialogue just afterwards (which is actually quite funny even now, and must have been hilarious when the idiom was contemporary):

    DICK.
    The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

    http://www.sethf.com/essays/major/killlawyers.php
    ===================================

    BTW, not a bad idea that... my apologies to any lawyers reading this!


    Grrr! We need a full fldged forum with editing tools! :^(

    By Blogger Anton, at Wednesday, July 09, 2008 5:50:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight,

    Hope your enjoying your vacation! Sorry about being so slow on replying but have been swamped the last few days.
    I think I tried to make this point in the beginning of our discussion. Something about you reading the wrong letter. I believe the only letter written in the canon for the purpose that the unbeliever might believe and have life is the Gospel of John (John 20:30,31). And it was written quite along time after Jesus resurrection some say around 35AD. And the only condition for the gift of eternal life is to believe Jesus for His gift of life. And the same living water that was given to the women at the well is offered in Rev 22:17 and can be taken freely.
    The book of Romans was written to believers (Rom 1:7,15) who already had the gift of eternal life so they understood the only condition for that gift was to believe. The salvation that is being spoken of in Romans 10 clearly has two conditions (1)confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus (2)believe in you heart God has raised Him from the dead. We have here a work that the believer must do to have this salvation spoken of here, they must confess with their mouth. And the second condition for this salvation is belief in the resurrection. That is a clear indication that the audience that is being spoken to already understands the clear offer of the gift of eternal life that is by faith alone in Christ alone. I believe the salvation in Romans that is being spoken of here is a full-orbed salvation including being delivered from the power of sin. And that is what believers do “call on the name of the Lord for deliverance.” I earlier gave the example of the ones in Acts 2 and Saul (Paul) who called on the Lord in water baptism but that was after they had believed. For them the moment they had believed Jesus was the Christ they were born of God but not yet in fellowship. For they had crucified their Christ and rejected the water baptism of John the Baptist and Jesus disciples. So before they would have fellowship forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit they had to meet the conditions of (1)Repentance (2) calling on the name of the Lord by being baptized. Those conditions were ONLY for that generation of Palestinians who had rejected the baptism of John. The Holy Spirit being a gift that was only given to those born again believers who were in fellowship with their Christ. Now at the moment of faith all believers receive both the gift of eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit being baptized into Christ body thus having fellowship at the moment of new birth.
    Concerning the word believe, I don’t believe someone can choose to believe something that they really don’t believe. A person is persuaded through the Word by the Holy Spirit so when belief comes it’s illumination. Once the person has been convinced, they can’t not believe unless they are persuaded otherwise.

    Goodnight you said: By this definition of “believe” which is driven by the other verbs in the context, I can see then one hearing and even believing (in a mental sense) but not calling upon the Lord’s name and so being lost.

    Goodnight that would be impossible and Jesus would have lied if that were the case “Most assuredly I tell you he who believes in Me has eternal life” John 6:47. Goodnight to be persuaded that something is true happens in the mind and once someone is persuaded they have been convinced which is to believe that Jesus has given them eternal life. By loading up the word believe with works (confessing) you have changed the meaning completely. By mixing something that can be taken freely with something that cost it’s no longer “good news.”

    Goodnight your problem is that you are confusing something that is offered freely and the only condition being “believe” with a salvation that has two conditions and is something you do with your tongue.
    Goodnight said:
    They’re the ones who sometime sit very uncomfortably in gospel meetings and get out the door as soon as they can and honestly say that they are not yet saved.
    Maybe if the person that is sitting in the back of your church would have heard the good news that Jesus had paid for all of his sin and thus is offering him the free gift of eternal life that he can take freely. You would find that instead of trying to get out the back door as fast as he could. That in the future he would be one who had taken the living water and was calling on the Lord to deliver him from the sin that his Savior had paid for!

    Hi Anton

    I don’t know for sure which of your categories I fall into but one thing is for sure I’m not a scholar. I’m one who is simply giving the reason for why I believe and what I believe. I have no professional training but am totally reliant upon the Holy Spirit to guide me into truth and others that He has gifted with the gift of teaching. I am learning all the time and trying to articulate my thoughts in a way that are simple to comprehend. I appreciate your defense of the truth.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, July 09, 2008 11:41:00 AM  

  • Anton

    I was referring to your "faith is not a gift" on Rose's blog. But after reading some of your stuff on this blog, which I should have checked out first I strongly disagree with.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, July 09, 2008 4:47:00 PM  

  • Anton this what you said was false:
    We, non Arminian Evangelicals, look for the evidence of the possession of the Holy Spirit who graciously, powerfully and infallibly enables God’s people to persevere unto the end. We run with HA Ironside’s comments: But, on the other hand, I am not so enthusiastic about the other expression, “the perseverance of the saints.” I believe in it; I believe that all saints--all really belonging to God--will persevere to the end, for the Book tells me, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), and if a man starts out and makes a profession but gives it all up, he will never be saved, because he was never born again to begin with, he was never truly changed by grace divine. On the other hand, the reason he endures to the end is not because of any particular perseverance of his own. What I believe in, and what the Word of God clearly teaches, is the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. When He begins a work, He never gives up until it is completed. That is our confidence. [Eternal Security]

    All it takes is one case in the NT of a believer not persevering unto the end to prove that wrong. The ones that were getting drunk at the Lords supper were not walking by the Spirit and thus sleep in Jesus.
    Also Matthew 24:14 is speaking of the Tribulation period, the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached again. Telling them to repent and believe the gospel, that the Kingdom is at hand. Those who endure to the end will be delivered from that time and physically enter the Kingdom. Perseverance is not a condition for the free gift of eternal life. And there is no guarentee that a born again person will walk by the Spirit, that is why there are so many warnings to do so.

    I apologize for not being more careful on reading every post, but was cut for time so I was pretty much just reading Colins replies to me. I can see now by reading Anton's post that we would disagree on much.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, July 09, 2008 5:21:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Thanks for joining the discussion!

    If you read the thread carefully, you will see that I was quoting from Colin's post! IOW, those are Colin's views, not mine!

    Formatting options, especially quotation symbols, on this blog are limited, leading to the type of difficulties you are facing.

    That's why my rant for a forum module.

    Regards.

    By Blogger Anton, at Thursday, July 10, 2008 12:32:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton, sorry about the misunderstanding. I'm not use to seeing the bar for a break.

    I'm relieved your on the free grace side. I reread quite a bit of what you put and you make very good sound arguments. I remember reading that article on THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LORDSHIP SALVATION by FRANK B. MINIRTH. So I'm very aware of the devastating effect especially of those who have very low self-image to an unhealthy point. When these people are fed that God loves some but hates others, they have no problem seeing themselves as the ones He hates. Their the ones who need to hear the truth of John 3:16 "For God so loved the world" which without a doubt includes them. My wife was one who was never told she was loved and never could do enough to please her parents. These type of people need the assurance of a loving God who weeps over the ones He died for and would gather them as a hen gathers her chicks even if they will not. They know it's not because He does not love them because He proved it on the cross. The Calvinist strip God of His unconditional love for the world and makes Him like the Levite and the Priest that just passes ones by leaving them in their helpless state. For the sinner which we all are were born in sin without hope separated from God, helpless without Christ. Thank God He IS the Spiritual Good Samaritan who IS the propitiation for not just our sins but for the sins of the WHOLE world. God is Love and would do this lavishing His grace upon all and not just those who believe!
    That is our Great God and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ who IS GREAT JOY to ALL people!!!

    The Calvinist has swallowed a big lie (horrible decree)from satan and proclaims it with GLEE!!!

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:41:00 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Glad that was sorted out! Now back to our regular programming!

    Now the above quote illustrates the point in the follwing ways:

    The intent of the 16th century author was to make the audience laugh by inserting a contemporary joke into his play: Lawyers were a nuisance.

    Quote
    Few people are unfamiliar with the phrase The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyer. Rueful, mocking, it often expresses the ordinary person's frustration with the arcana and complexity of law.

    http://www.spectacle.org/797/finkel.html

    20th century scholars would read a Shakespeare play and try to find something profound in it and write great big books analysing and even extracting philosophical truth from his work. As the idea that lawyers as an institution were the only thing that stood between a villainous king and a just society.

    Quote
    As the famous remark by the plotter of treachery in Shakespeare's King Henry VI shows - "The first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers," - the surest way to chaos and tyranny even then was to remove the guardians of independent thinking.

    http://www.spectacle.org/797/finkel.html

    Get with it peeps, Shakespeare was a hack (albeit a talented hack), and was doing what any stand up comic would do today: get people with common backgrounds and points of references to laugh at the novel ways he inserted current jokes (some bawdy) into his material.

    (I owe this to my English Prof: who loved to point out how many scholars misunderstood the Bard).

    Now, if a few hundred years can distort a view beyond recognition, imagine what a couple of thousand years can do.

    Am I saying that Biblical scholars pontificate on the meanings of texts with a flagrant disregard to passage of time, with all the implications of the need of context to understand what the text is saying? YES.

    Do they accept interpretation based solely on acceptable (to them) methods and reject new methodolgy for various justifiable (to them) reasons.Again YES.

    Consider:
    The problem as stated by Biblical scholars is as follows:
    ==================
    Man’s Problem

    Separation From God

    Isaiah 59:2 But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God; your sins have caused him to reject you and not listen to your prayers.


    God’s Solution

    God is not only perfect holiness (whose holy character we can never attain to on our own or by our works of righteousness) but He is also perfect love and full of grace and mercy. Because of His love and grace, He has not left us without hope and a solution.

    Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


    How Do We Receive God’s Son?

    Because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross, the Bible states “He that has the Son has life.” We can receive the Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior by personal faith, by trusting in the person of Christ and His death for our sins.

    John 1:12 But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children

    John 3:16-18 For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in Him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

    This means we must each come to God the same way: (1) as a sinner who recognizes his sinfulness, (2) realizes no human works can result in salvation, and (3) relies totally on Christ alone by faith alone for our salvation.

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=276
    =================

    Question
    Did the First Century Church understand the problem as stated?

    By Blogger Anton, at Thursday, July 10, 2008 6:05:00 AM  

  • To make any progress, let’s understand what the situation , hopes and expectations were in Jerusalem. The following describes in a nutshell the prevalent sentiments amongst the Jewish population:

    Quote
    They believe they are called to observe Torah as a chosen people, for in their obedience all of the world will be blessed. For example, if they observe the Sabbath personally, then God will reveal Himself, His Presence more so to all the earth.

    For them, observing the Law has nothing to do with personal salvation, but everything to do with the earth being blessed by God.

    Why do we have to believe in Jesus to gain forgiveness of sins?
    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=115284&page=3

    Question
    Was the Gospel as understood by the people of modern times the one presented by Jesus?

    Question
    Were the expectations of the people of Jerusalem met by Jesus’ Gospel?

    Question
    If the expectations of the people of Jerusalem were indeed not met by Jesus’ Gospel were these expectations wrong?

    Question
    If the Gospel as understood by the people of modern times was not the one presented by Jesus, is the modern understanding wrong?

    And finally,

    Question
    If one of the views is right, how do we know it is right?

    By Blogger Anton, at Friday, July 11, 2008 9:23:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Anton, at Monday, July 14, 2008 7:27:00 AM  

  • Answer both the views are wrong. But you knew that! But why were they wrong?

    This needs some backtracking.

    The means people used to get things right, "knowing the Truth" was by using a method called reductio ad absurdum. IOW, by making statements about a thing, and proving it wrong, you could separate what it was not, and by a process of elimination, reach thte truth.

    There are many problems with this method and it wasn't till Aristotle that philosophers could work out a formal method by which one could reach the truth, the Logical Method. People spent too much time in the pursuit of truth using the old method.

    People were so pleased with this method that they felt that given enough time and effort, one would eventually arrive at the Ultimate Truth, to the benefit of mankind. Even Justin Martyr placed significant weight on this philosophy, as did the Church Fathers. This got an additonal boost during the Enlightenment. Everybody agrees that the bubble burst with the oncoming of the Great War. When the pursuit of knowledge as seen in the progress made by science did not bring the expected benefits people became greatly disilussioned. How could man, with the immense progress and strides made in technology, end up with a situation that led to the death of millions of people, wqas the question on peoples' minds. The Modernist peiod was over. The thinkers that arrived on the scene replaced the Cartesian methodology prevalent in the previous era with deconstructionism: incessant questioning of every theory. There were no sacred cows. Art was a prime target: it had already lost its established role as THE medium of truth representaion with the invention of the camera. Artists began to question the rules of composition, the need for perspective, the exaggeration of lighting as practicesd by the old masters.

    Postmodernism was born. There were no absolutes.

    Am I saying that you can never arrive at truth, never declare a right or a wrong?

    Kant said it best (contra Aristotle>Descartes) : truths can never be represented. Each of us has a filter which will affect our perception of any thing, wheter an object or a proposition.

    But he also said that generally, our minds work properly. That is we can come to a close approximation of the truth..

    The problem with modern reformation theologians is that they posit absolute truths. Ditto the Talmudic scholars of First century believers. Biblical scholars are beginning to recognise that approximations and probable meanings of text passages are the best we are ever going to achieve in the search for intended meanings.

    This would explain how the leading commentaries on say Romans each vary signifcicantly from each other, the clims to Spiritual leading, qualified Bible scholarship and holy living from each of the authors not withstanding.

    Are we then lost as to how to understand doctrine and subsequently hiw to live productive lives in the service of Christ?

    Let me present a parallel: advanced research has shown that at a certain level, the laws of Physics stop being applicable. But that does not mean that planes start dropping out of the sky and water from our taps run dry.

    Similarly, our understanding about God have a finite limitation, but it doesn't mean we will not be able to practice righteusness. And more. I agree woth Mathew that our identification with Christ puts a whole new light on how we understand what our new status is: remember, Jesus never objected to God sharing divine staus with man when answering criticism from the Jewish teachers:

    NIV John !0: 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'[e]? 35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?

    Inasmuch as we are identified with Christ we share his Life and that means the curse of Adam is nullified and more to the point, the curse of Babel too. All the promises of being led into truth are now within reach as long as we are in Christ, (also described as abiding, walking, remaining, obeying His commands, not avoiding fellowship with the Body ...) and those who spend time with Him will be led by Him. This is not limited to visions and dreams, but God uses advances in archaeology, history, language even philosophical understandings to do this . We find ourself brought into contact with these resources at appropiate times and phases in the development of our walk.

    Lets face it: the information present in the world is so great that, simply on the basis of human limitations, there is no way we can dip, let alone master a single field or area of expertise without DIVINE help. Ask any seminary student of the limitations of his acquring of the Greek (an elemental skill set in the theological endeavour) and whether it made a significant difference in the understanding of the text. the various versions available do a stunningly adequate job in the English, given the fact that discernible patterns and represantations appear repetitously in the text. God is good! He won't leave us without guidance!

    Sorry for the longwinded posts.

    But the upside is that its now open season on Anton hunting. Fire away!!!

    By Blogger Anton, at Monday, July 14, 2008 9:56:00 AM  

  • Brother Anton

    You’re a man of many words, a philosopher type. And there's nothing wrong with that, but I have a wee little brain so such things are so far over my head with such a lack of understanding of these vast areas of thought. You see I'm a bit limited in education. I have only tapped into these things pretty shallow. I follow you a wee bit but then you disappear into the clouds. I do have a tape somewhere by Zane Hodges who talks about the changes that have taken place down through the ages. How during the scientific age when Christianity took quite a blow because of such Catholic thought that the earth was the center of the Universe. But during this time Calvinism did very well because of its beliefs, it could do well under ground because people would get saved anyway. But then after that time the enlightenment came and experience played more of a roll in Christianity. Truth was no longer stressed but experience so from there it has slid down hill. That’s why we need to be able to test or experiences by the Scriptures, no matter how wonderful they are. If they don’t line up we need to get rid of them. I remember being in a church and being lifted up with the worship and singing. But then had to stop myself and consider the situation. What they were teaching I new to be false, so why would God be giving such a feeling of euphoria. I realized what I was experiencing that was so wonderful wasn’t matching up to the truth. So I needed to set my feelings aside for the truth. My point being the Word of God will not let us down and the simplicity of Christ is our starting point. We are safe as long as we continue to be Bereans and test everything by the Word of God. The Spirit will always glorify Christ and not Himself, and lead us into all truth.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, July 14, 2008 9:06:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. You made a very insightful and meaningful observation:

    The Spirit will always glorify Christ and not Himself, and lead us into all truth.

    Since the Spirit glorifies Christ and we are in union with Christ, isn't it wonderful that we share in some of the glory.

    This has great implications:

    Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    That means we are also the way and th truth and the life to the world. And this means as well Colin, Daniel and all the others who believe in Jesus for eternal life!

    Jesus wanted us to be One, as he and the Father were One, and this is a reversal of Babel, when all men were not One!

    So when Colin and Daniel bring up issues, and when those issues are resolved, then we are truly One. And this happens when Jesus brings us into contact with Truth we did not have access to, and brings our Truth within the reach of others: that is why this site is such a blessing to the Body of Christ.

    Because Rose and all of us others are nice! We are accessible! Not like some other sites I could mention!

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:47:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton

    As long as I've been coming to this sight those issues "have not been resolved." There are those who believe like myself that the living water is free. Simply taking Jesus at His promise. Then there are those ones you mentioned who believe you have to prove you drank the right water by a life of good works that persevere's unto the end to be saved.
    These two different ways are like night and day, and only one brings salvation.
    It's good to be nice and accesible, but I believe your observation is false. I'm not saying that those ones you mentioned are not saved. I hope at one time they believed in the free gift of life. But the message that they believe and teach now cannot save but is a work-salvation message which has a curse on it. That's being blunt but true!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:10:00 AM  

  • Anton

    Christian fellowship can only be in the truth.

    Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.

    If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

    And this is the promise that He has promised us eternal life.
    1 John 2:24,25

    Anton, Jesus promises the gift of eternal life to the one who simply believes Him for it.(John 6:47)
    And anyone who has believed Him KNOWS they have eternal life based soley on Jesus promise.

    But the one who says yuou MUST persevere until the end to be saved cannot KNOW that he has eternal life until he has made it to the end.

    This makes it impossible at the moment one believes to KNOW they have eternal life, thus voiding Jesus promise.

    These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE
    1 John 5:13

    So Anton it is impossible to be ONE in Christ with someone who does not believe this basic truth because they are yet to believe Jesus promise of eternal life.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, July 15, 2008 8:27:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    You said:
    But the message that they believe and teach now cannot save but is a work-salvation message which has a curse on it.

    If a person is not saved, is the fault with:

    1) the one who teaches the message
    2) the one who hears the message

    Regards.

    By Blogger Anton, at Wednesday, July 16, 2008 1:31:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton

    I don't know where your going with your question or what it has to do with being One in the Body. As you said: Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    That means we are also the way and the truth and the life to the world. And this means as well Colin, Daniel and all the others who believe in Jesus for eternal life!


    Anton, whether you frontload the Gospel or backload it with works you can say you believe in Jesus for eternal life but if works play any part you can't KNOW solely based on Jesus promise.

    The only possible way you could KNOW would be if at the time you believed you knew you would persevere unto the end. And the Apostle Paul didn't even know that.

    So the ONLY other alternative is you don't know if you have believed which comes by default because that is the only other option.

    The message either brings life or death, and not everyone has the ability to search the Scriptures to see if what the messenger is saying is true.

    James 3: 1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, July 16, 2008 7:55:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    The Bible teaches a view that God desires that all men be saved by the hearing of His Word of Truth. In this endeavour God uses many means and uses them constantly. Some men ignore God's efforts:

    NASB Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

    to their disadvantage:
    21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    IOW, the fault for not being saved lies with the listener.

    But as you pointed out in the James 3:1 quote, there lies a judgement for the teachers of the message as well. Would you agree that this implies that the message you teach, the message that Daniel teaches and the message I teach should match the message that God teaches?

    Question
    What is the message that God teaches?

    Remember, God is fair. He holds HIMSELF to the same standard that He imposes on us.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED."

    God is to be judged? Shocking!

    anton

    By Blogger Anton, at Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:27:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton


    Anton said:
    IOW, the fault for not being saved lies with the listener.

    Anton, you changed the context from the messenger giving the message and the hearer hearing that message to general revelation from creation. Were not talking about general revelation but a specific message from a messenger and that message either being true or false.


    Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:


    “ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,[h]
    Who bring glad tidings of good things!”[i
    ]
    16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says “Lord who has believed our report? 17 So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

    If we put verse 14 and 15 in the sequence in which they happen it would be like this: The preacher is sent….the preacher preaches the message….they hear the message and believe…then as believers they are able to call on the name of the Lord.


    Anton you asked:
    Question
    What is the message that God teaches?

    The message could be as simple as this:
    Jesus said: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. John 6:43,47
    Or,
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

    But the majority of people are going to need a lot more information to be persuaded Jesus will give them eternal life by simply believing in Him. And that is why the signs were given in the only book in the Bible that was written for the purpose of evangelism (John 20:30,31). The cross is the most powerful evidence we can give which proves God’s love and shows how He was able to save us from our sins. The gospel message is good news about Jesus Christ so we have lots to share.
    But by the end of the day we want people believing in Christ alone by faith alone.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:05:00 PM  

  • Anton

    I will say concerning general revelation from God as you mentioned from Romans 1. It is enough to make it so man does not have an excuse for not seeking God. But God has promised that if you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him. And Jesus said if He be lifted up He would draw all people unto Himself. And we know that there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. We know that the gospel is the message that we are to preach, it’s the good news about Jesus Christ. And we know when someone either frontloads the gospel with works or backloads it, they have changed the good news to a works-salvation message that cannot save.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:48:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    You wrote:
    Anton, you changed the context from the messenger giving the message and the hearer hearing that message to general revelation from creation. Were not talking about general revelation but a specific message from a messenger and that message either being true or false.

    What makes you think that general revelation is NOT "a specific message from a messenger"? In the following, who is giving thanks to whom and for what?

    NASB Romans 1:21ff
    For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks,

    Here's an interesting situation: you think that general revealation from God is adequate only to spark a desire to seek Jesus, and not enough to provide salvation. IOW, you've introduced a further requirement to God's plan of salvation.

    Consider:

    Special Revelation
    Conveys information about God: Jesus is from God.

    NASB John 3
    2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

    But this information is only for sceptics, who have to be persuaded.

    Special Revelation
    Conveys information about God: Belief In Jesus alone by faith alone is sufficient requirement for receiving eternal life. (Jn 6:47)

    General revelation
    Conveys general information about God: any belief or trust in Him cannot save. It requires a belief in Jesus in order for a person to be saved.

    Question
    Is this requirement in the spirit of the Gospel taught by the Bible?

    By Blogger Anton, at Friday, July 18, 2008 10:22:00 AM  

  • Anton

    Anton said:
    So when Colin and Daniel bring up issues, and when those issues are resolved, then we are truly One.

    You are proving my point, I have given you truth but your not accepting it. Just as those ones you mentioned have been not changed by the truth but hold onto their work-salvation.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, July 18, 2008 12:36:00 PM  

  • Hi All

    If there is anyone that can communicate with Anton have at it. Because it’s like were from different planets. I guess if I had a seminary degree in rhetoric I could follow him.

    He seems to be saying that the message the messenger brings really doesn’t matter.

    If I was to guess why, it would be he has found a way to be One with (Catholics,Prodestants,Charsmatics, etc) on the mission field.

    I started my seven-day vacation today so my time is limited now.

    regards

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, July 18, 2008 1:51:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    You've already realised the problem with believing the doctrines taught by men. Follow through! Keep your head down, and your eye on the ball.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

    And time is on your side, having being delivered from the wrath of God. Not only are we not separated from God, we are also not separated from the rest of the Body:

    NASB John 17:22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

    Everyone who has posted on this site has been a blessing to me, even Colin with his corny jokes!

    Regards.

    By Blogger Anton, at Saturday, July 19, 2008 1:52:00 AM  

  • Anton

    What your doing is taking Scripture out of context so you can make everyone ONE. The only way people are One in Christ is if they have believed Jesus promise of eternal life. And to have fellowship they must abide in that truth. That is the starting point because it’s by grace. If you add works in anyway it’s no longer grace. True fellowship is in the truth! God is light and there is NO darkness in Him.

    Jeremiah 31:34 will not be fulfilled until Christ’s Kingdom and that is when ALL Israel will be saved. Not only will they be delivered from the Tribulation but will KNOW God which is to be born again. (Romans 11:25-27) At that time the law will be written in their heat and Jesus will rule with a rod of iron. (Rev 19:15)

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 19, 2008 6:32:00 AM  

  • Anton some verses to ponder:

    1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not KNOW the Lord.

    1 Samuel 3:7 (Now Samuel did not YET KNOW the Lord.

    1 Samuel 10:6 “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be TURNED INTO ANOTHER MAN.

    1 Samuel 10:9 So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him ANOTHER HEART and all those signs came to pass that day.

    John 17:2,3 “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should GIVE ETERNAL LIFE to as many as You have given Him. “And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW YOU, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

    Romans 4:1-5 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by WORKS, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who WORKS, the wages are not counted as GRACE but as debt. But to Him who justifies the ungodly, his FAITH is accounted for righteousness.

    Romans 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being FULLY CONVINCED that what HE HAD PROMISED He was also able to perform.

    Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of FAITH that it might be according to GRACE, so that the PROMISE MIGHT BE SURE to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

    Romans 11:6 And if by GRACE, then it is no longer of WORKS; otherwise GRACE is no longer GRACE. But if it is of WORKS, it is no longer GRACE; otherwise WORK is no longer WORK.

    1 John 2:24,25 Therefore let that abide in you which you HEARD FROM THE BEGINNING. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the PROMISE that He has PROMISED US ETERNAL LIFE.

    The means has ALWAYS been FAITH and the OBJECT has ALWAYS been the CHRIST, and WORKS play NO part either on the frontend or the backend or it’s not by GRACE.

    The context of 1 John 5:1a is how we can know who our brothers and sisters in Christ are!

    1 John 5:1a WHOEVER believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.

    What does John mean by the Christ?

    He tells us in his gospel.

    John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the RESURRECTION and the LIFE.
    He who BELIEVES in Me, though he may DIE, he shall LIVE.
    “And whoever LIVES and BELIEVES in Me SHALL NEVER DIE.
    Do you believe THIS?

    Everyone who believes THIS is believing in Jesus as the Christ and KNOWS if they die He will resurrect them. And if they live they will NEVER die because they have eternal life.
    If works has anything to do with the proposition then one cannot KNOW THIS is true for them!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:33:00 AM  

  • I John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

    Question:
    Can we ever be sure of someone else’s salvation (regeneration), if so based on what?
    Answer from Zane Hodges:
    1 John 5:1 says; Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. “And it says it in the context where it is trying to identify the brother or sister we are to love.”
    I think that has to be understood in the light of Johannine theology. But to believe that Jesus is the Christ is to believe that He is the One who gives eternal life to the person who believes Him.
    And personally I don’t think there are any grounds for doubting the salvation of someone who apparently with all sincerity and understanding says that is what I believe.

    Looking at these following verses you will see the emphasis is on eternal life in fact it is God’s testimony to the one who has believed His promise. And it goes on to tell us this is why we can KNOW the one who believes has eternal life based solely on God’s testimony.

    1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.


    1 John 2: 24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.

    What does this all tell us? It tells us we need to “abide in the Son and the testimony that He has given us eternal life.
    The ONLY way a person can KNOW they have eternal life is based solely on Jesus testimony that He has given eternal life to the one who believed.

    The only condition is to believe Jesus promise (John 6:47).

    The fifth point of Calvinism “perseverance of the saints” makes it impossible for them to KNOW they have eternal life because it is based upon there good works unto the end as evidence they don’t have a spurious faith, and that they are truly the elect.
    They cannot believe Jesus testimony that He has given them eternal life because of their theology. The only way they could have known they had eternal life at the moment they believed is if they also knew they were going to persevere unto the end. And the apostle Paul himself didn’t even know for sure he would persevere unto the end, but possibly could be disqualified.

    Calvinism is a quagmire that contradicts a free gift of eternal life that you can simply take freely.
    What it actually does is make discipleship something you MUST do if you are truly regenerated.

    They can say it’s a free gift all day long but their theology will not allow it without works on the tail end to prove one has been born again.

    If a Calvinist simply believed Jesus for His free gift of life and new they had that life solely based on Jesus promise. Then there is no reason to not consider them brothers and sisters in Christ.

    But, if when they first believed they believed also they MUST persevere in good works unto the end to be truly the elect then it is impossible for them to KNOW they had eternal life. If works has anything to do with their being able to KNOW at the time they believed then they disqualify themselves as brothers and sisters in Christ.
    We do them a great dis-service by confirming them as brothers and sisters in Christ when they have added discipleship as something that MUST happen if one is truly born again.



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, July 20, 2008 8:00:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    How do you know the above view is right?

    If the author is right because of his scholarship, what about Carson, Sproul, Horton who have equally high qualifications but hold the opposite view.

    Similarly, its not because of his moral living, as we know that the other scholars have no scandal in their lives.

    And if we claim the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the final arbiter, surely we do not want to state the others are not Spirit dewlt:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

    This is exactly the problem I'm describing, and I'm being accused of postmodernism, liberalism and subscribing to Eastern Orthodoxy for my troubles here:

    Maybe you, Rose and Matthew would like to join in the discussion here, where I'm trying to pin down why Aristotle is the cause of the mess we have in Western Christianity:

    http://forum.bible.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=9994&p=97514#p97514

    I'm posting as Sam, from my name Anthony Samuel xxxxx. Matthew will be quite interested on the slant on "deification" that keeps popping up there!

    BTW, 1 John was written to combat the heresy that Jesus did not come in the flesh.

    By Blogger Anton, at Monday, July 21, 2008 5:18:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton,
    you said:
    How do you know the above view is right?

    Anton that’s easy for me, what I have presented to you is consistent with eternal life being a gift which can be taken freely. The Scriptures clearly show that a believer is to present themselves to God. That they are to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh, to not walk in the old man but put on the New Man. This makes clear that the choice is the believers, and that would be consistent with being able to take the living water freely.
    The other side does not really believe in a free gift you can take freely but has to have works connected to it in some way. They don’t believe that God would give the living water to someone He would be disappointed in. Other words God has to get some kind of return on it or He wouldn’t give it. So they have made discipleship as something that HAS TO HAPPEN.
    Also all it takes is to show one person in Scripture who did not persevere unto the end to prove their theology is wrong ( King Saul in the Old Testament committed suicide, and the ones at the Lords table that were getting drunk and now sleep (koimaomai) in Jesus).
    Zane Hodges concerning 1 John 5:13: Those who are willing to look at themselves with complete honesty will find more grounds to doubt their salvation than to be assured of it. Some even teach that this uncertainty is healthy! But this does not reckon with the fact that the apostle John expected his readers to know that they had eternal life. The irony is that once Christian experience is made the grounds for assurance, as some hold First John does, John’s statement in this verse about knowing becomes a complete impossibility!
    The apostle here seeks to reaffirm the assurance of his readership. It was the antichrists who called that assurance into question!

    Anton put:
    Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

    Food for thought: http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1993/93jan3.html

    My best friend was raised in a Charismatic home and church and believed you could lose eternal life. He would use this as a litmus test for if someone was saved. In fact he also believed that a person needed to be baptized by the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to truly be saved. He now knows the truth concerning the gift of eternal life and that all are baptized into Christ the moment they believe Jesus promise of eternal life.

    I would say that the same is true concerning “Jesus is Lord” what Zane has to say below about “the Son of God.”
    We must not reduce this confession to the low common denominator that it often has in modern-day religion. For John, the fact that Jesus was the Son of God was inseparable from the reality that He was God’s Christ. Thus in the thematic statement for the Fourth Gospel, found in John 20:30,31, we are told, “But these [miraculous signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (verse 31; italics added). Just exactly what the role of the Christ, the Son of God was, for John, is clearly delineated in Jesus’ famous exchange with Martha (John 11:25-26).
    When Jesus is confessed as the Son of God, He is being confessed as “Christ come in flesh” (cf. 1 John 4:2) and as the Guarantor of eternal life and future resurrection to every believer. Therefore, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1) and this eternal life is a promise that the Revisionists evidently deny (cf. 1 John 2:25-26). Against this background of Johannine thought, it is clear that only those who grasp John’s concept of the title Son of God can truly make the confession that John speaks of here.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, July 21, 2008 2:08:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    The main objection of the opposing party is that you have a "contentless" faith. And this is a view that comes up even in the category coming under the "Free grace" umbrella.

    I believe in the Consistent Free Grace view: anything else is an exclusivism that puts obstacles to many's ingress into God's kingdom. But I also think that "pisteuw" has a component of understanding in its makeup, and we should form a view that accomodates that too...

    By Blogger Anton, at Tuesday, July 22, 2008 10:27:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton

    Yes, well the opposing view the child needs to be able to use an concordance at an early age to understand their musical word changes (John 3:16 world). And the tune they play can only be heard by the ones with the special ears (elect ones). And in the end they could have been sitting in the wrong chair all along because God gives according to them a spurious faith (on purpose to condemn them).

    I believe that the Lord is not willing that any should perish and has provided for ALL on the cross. And that is why the living water can be taken freely without any reference to repentance or sin (John 4:10; Rev 22:17). Jesus said if He be lifted up He would draw ALL unto Himself. The Scriptures clearly tell us that those who seek Him will find Him. He is not trying to hide from anyone but desires that ALL men be saved (1 Tim 2:3-5). That is the story of His love (John 3:16)for the WHOLE world (1 John 2:2)that He made the propitiation and therefore sin is no longer a barrier to God (2 Cor 5:19), and the good news is we can be reconciled by simply believing His promise to give the one who believes eternal life (John 3:16; 4:10; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25-27).
    Anton, I believe that the choice we make is responding to His drawing. We are either persuaded of the truth or were not and if were persuaded it's not a decision one makes to believe but is illumination that happens. You can't choose to believe something you really don't believe. And that gives room for the Holy Spirit to persuade us through His word. So believing is not a choice one makes. Our choice is being willing to seek God when He is drawing us through His word by His Spirit. I can't choose to believe something unless I'm persuaded that it is true, then I don't have to make a choice because I've already been persuaded that it's true.
    The saving content has to be so simple that a little child could understand and be saved. The gospel of John was written for this purpose (John 20:30,31) and has child like verses that are crystal clear. It's as simple as believing Jesus will keep His promise (John 3:16;6:47; 11:25-27). Do you believe this? Yes Lord I believe!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:19:00 PM  

  • My analogy might not have been very clear, sorry about that. If you have ever played the child's game musical chairs you would know that everyone playing is listening to the same music. And when the music stops everyone sits down but there is only enough chairs for everyone but one. If the child is not paying good enough attention he or she ends up without a chair and on the floor.

    If we were to compare this child's game with Calvinism we would find:

    The music is John 3:16 but only the elect can hear it.

    The rest in the game are called reprobates and were created to sit on floors.

    Some of them are led to believe they belong in chairs and have ears to hear.

    Only the ones who persevere unto the end prove they were created to sit in chairs.

    But, they don't know until the end IF they even have a chair to sit in!




    It seemed that Calvin was saying that God not only predestined multitudes to eternal doom and there was nothing they could do about it, but He deliberately deceived some of them into imagining that they were truly saved, when they weren't! (DH)

    Calvin,
    Experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them...Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord the better to convict them, and leave them, without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.
    (Calvin, op. cit., III:ii,11-12)

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:09:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    All I'm saying is that they're brothers in Christ and have useful truths to be heard. You're not saying that Calvin had nothing useful to say are you?

    By Blogger Anton, at Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:33:00 AM  

  • Hi Anton,

    Looks as though were right back to where we started.

    A waste of time and words...

    But hopefully someone looking in understood that true fellowship has to be in the truth. And the truth that John wanted his readers to KNOW is that they have eternal life.

    The ones you mention, it's impossible for them to KNOW until they have endured to the end.

    That means, as of yet they have not believed Jesus promise. There theology makes it impossible to KNOW at the moment they believed, thus they NEVER believed.

    That means they are not abiding in the truth that was first delivered that Jesus is the Christ.

    Therefore if you think you can have true fellowship in the dark your mistaken.

    Jesus only dwells in the light and if you want to have fellowship with Him you have to be where He is...in the light!

    Concerning John Calvin.

    I'm pulled two ways upon him.

    He is the one who looked into the Scriptures and saw the horrible decree from God. Other words he has spread Satan’s lie!

    On the other hand Zane Hodges speaks with high regard concerning him which has troubled me. But I cannot deny that God used Zane Hodges greatly in my own life.

    I wonder how Servetus who he had murdered for being a heretic would answer?

    If Servetus could speak would he point the finger at Calvin for being the heretic by teaching infant baptism and a horrible decree?

    I would think so!

    In conclusion:

    Unless a person with all sincerity and understanding can say they have believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life. Then there is no reason to doubt that they are my brother and sister in Christ

    We have reached an impasse; this will be my last post.

    regards

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, July 23, 2008 11:34:00 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    But they are also the Body of Christ and He wants you to be without spot or wrinkle:

    NASB Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

    And neither Calvinists nor Free Gracers are without spot or wrinkle. You can't remain as either!

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

    By Blogger Anton, at Wednesday, July 23, 2008 10:17:00 PM  

  • Yay! Doodling time!

    Only one person in the Bible ever started his statements with the words "Truly, truly..."

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=67846

    Colin sensed the inappropriateness of my using it. Have I overstepped the line?

    He also found it inappropriate that I should use the words "Ultimately God will decide if those who proclaim His justice and honour were right, or those His mercy and love.”

    But what do you make of the statement:

    NASB 1 Cor 3: 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    Its higly probable that the "work" is doctrine, but what is the "fire": its obviously not God's wrath. That is the "loss" mentioned in v15. How about:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    "Is not My word like fire?" declares the LORD, "and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

    Wait a minute, am I saying that we use God's Word to test one another's doctrine, maybe wield it like Jesus did? See:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    Well, maybe I am. Else verses that describe us as the body of Christ are hyperbole. Am I teetering on the edge of blasphemy? Consider:

    Quote
    But it is only man's body that is of little significance, because it was the body that was formed from earth. Man has another component, the vital spirit that inhabits his body, that was instilled in him by the Divine breath, and hence is Godly in nature.

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/twerski/twerski_vayikra.php3

    You might even do a little study of how Judaism understands what the spirit of man is and what happens to it when he dies.

    Deification: why should that word trouble us? Jesus had no problem with the idea:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in your Law, 'I SAID, YOU ARE GODS '?

    Now you know why the soul is so important.

    It's open season on Anton huntin' again!

    BTW, mercy does trump justice:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

    By Blogger Anton, at Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:19:00 AM  

  • Anton, until you KNOW what it means to believe in Jesus for eternal life what does anything else matter.

    Your excepting Calvinism as being part of the Church when the fifth point of Calvinism is perseverance of the saints which has to do with your works.

    This clearly tells me you don't KNOW what it means to believe in Jesus for eternal life.

    Colin believes that you’re regenerated so you can believe.

    So it only makes sense that you’re going to persevere in good works because God is doing it ALL!

    So discipleship has to happen!

    What does that mean?

    It’s not a gift!

    It’s debt!

    If you don’t produce "some" works it NEVER happened!

    The world would be right!

    Nothing is free!

    God lied!

    It was all just a trick, nothing really humg in the balance!

    Free will is a joke, your really just a doll on a string!

    Sure you can take it freely, but you MUST be His SLAVE!

    Unconditional love is a joke!

    God will only love those who will work for Him!

    Anton, Calvinism is a man-made system that can NEVER save anyone because it’s not God’s WAY but man’s and MUST have works!

    It's more then just a wrinkle, it's a lie that cannot save anyone!



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 24, 2008 7:34:00 PM  

  • Hi ALL

    A clarification on Zane C. Hodges belief concerning the five-points of Calvinism.

    Hodges writes:
    "None of these ideas has any right to be called normative Prodestant theology. None has ever been held by a wide cross-section of Christendom. Most importantly, none of them is biblical...all of them lie outside the proper parameters of Christian orthodoxy.
    (Zane C. Hodges, "The New Puritanism, pt. 2: Michael S. Horton: Holy War with Unholy Weapons" (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1994),6:11.)

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:17:00 PM  

  • In Dave Hunt's book "What Love Is This" Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God. Dave finds a strong advocate in Zane C. Hodges and quotes him over and over. On the other side Dave calls Joseph C. Dillow a staunch Calvinist.
    Quite a contrast!

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:12:00 PM  

  • Alvin, are you saying the Reformation was not useful?

    Semper reformada!

    By Blogger Anton, at Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:10:00 PM  

  • Those who disagree with Calvinism today on the basis of their understanding of God's Word are accused of abandoning, ignoring or even defying the great confessions and established creeds of the church. We must ask, "Which church?" Roman Catholics also refer to "the church" in a similar manner, but milluions of true believers were not part of it for centuries before the reformation, refusing to bow to the popes or to submit to Rome's heresies. Calvinists today, looking back on the first century or so of the Reformation, REFER TO "THE CHURCH" in much the same way, meaning state churches carrying on what Calvin began in Geneva, with those outside their membership viewed as heretics. This false view being perpetuated by today's calculated references to "the Reformed faith," as though Calvinism deserves total credit for the Reformation.
    It is amazing how diligent Calvin was to correct and persecute even to the death those who disagreed with his extreme views on sovereignty and predestination but was apparently able with no trouble to overlook the many heresies of Augustine. At least we don't find anything in his writings except praise for this man who held to so much that was unbiblical. In fact, as we have seen, Calvin not only praised Augustine, he looked to him as the authority justifying his own beliefs and policies at Geneva.
    (DH)

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, July 25, 2008 4:29:00 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Would you agree that the Reformation did more good than bad?

    By Blogger Anton, at Friday, July 25, 2008 10:32:00 PM  

  • Hi Anton

    Light is always good! But you can't call dark, light, and that is what Calvinism is full of darkness. Simplicity made into a mystery.
    There is no darkness in God only light.

    This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness AT ALL. 1 John 1:5


    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 26, 2008 4:28:00 AM  

  • Hi Alvin, look at this time line:

    Reformation corrects Roman Catholicism, Arminianism corrects Calvinism, Free Grace corrects both Arminianism and Calvinism.

    So Luther and Calvin were not full of darkness.

    By Blogger Anton, at Monday, July 28, 2008 3:17:00 AM  

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