[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)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Arminian v Calvinist part 2






by Matthew

Okay, so that was something of a caricature of a debate between and Arminian and a Calvinist. But often debates on the soteriology do form along those lines. Both sides quote verses as if the other side is going to say:

Oh wow, man. I never read that verse before. I guess you guys who believe in perseverance/ possibility of loss of salvation must be right.


Even where more sophisticated exegesis is presented, the results of such debate is predictable. The Calvinist produces all the verses that demonstrate the eteranal security of the believer, while the Arminian produces all the verses that imply loss of salvation.

Both sides have a problem. The Arminian has to deal with a lot of passages that strongly affirm the eteranal security of the believer. If she wants to stand in the Reformation tradition, she also has to reconcile her rejection of eternal security with the doctrine of justification.

The Calvinist may have strong support for eternal security. Hwoever, she has to deal with a mass of warnings about judgment. She has to convince her opponent that these warnings are directed at false professors and not true believers. Even if she succeeds in this she risks the danger of removing the assurance that one is a true believer.

The Calvinist has a further problem in that the weight of history rejects her position.

The early church fathers rejected perseverance. Augustine, the most popular of them amongst Calvinists believed in a sort of perseverance, but he held that true born-again Christians could still be lost (if they were not among the elect). The Roman Catholic church has always rejected perseverance, as has the Eastern Orthodox church. The Anabaptist tradition for the most part rejects it. The Arminians, the Wesleyans and most Pentecostals reject it. All of the pseudo-Christian cults that claim to follow the Bible reject it.

Now it may be that the mass of these people may have been unregenerate. No doubt the majority of them were. However, with the exception of the cultists, they were able to pick up their Bibles and see in them the doctrine of the Trinity. If the Bible so clearly teaches eternal security, why have so many missed it, while still holding to much that is true? Why is it only Reformed, Baptists and some Anglicans (occupying only a fraction of church history) have held to eternal security and perserverance?

For those of us who hold to Free Grace/ Overcomer teaching, this is not so much of a problem. The Bible contains many warnings to regenerate persons. Not warnings of eternal punishment, but warnings of judgment, chastening, premature death, loss of rewards, loss of kingdom inheritance and perhaps exclusion from the millennium (more debateable than the others). It is easy for the careless exegete or the false teacher to twist those warnings into warnings of everlasting punishment.

The goal of consistent Free Grace theology is too synthesize the precious truth of eternal security with the stark reality of judgment upon believers who do not yield their lives in submission and faithful discipleship to Christ.

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68 Comments:

  • "For those of us who hold to Free Grace/ Overcomer teaching, this is not so much of a problem. The Bible contains many warnings to regenerate persons. Not warnings of eternal punishment, but warnings of -

    "judgment,"
    =========
    None
    =======
    "chastening,"
    ==========
    yes
    ============
    "premature death,"
    ===========
    debatable
    ==========
    "loss of rewards,"
    ============
    Yes
    ==========
    "loss of kingdom inheritance and perhaps exclusion from the millennium "
    ==========
    only among a certain sect of dispensationalism. Do all free gracers agree with you here?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:20:00 AM  

  • Consistent Free Gracers hold to loss of inheritance. Inconsistent Free Gracers may only see loss of rewards. Only a minority hold to Millennial Exclusion, though that position has a certain historical pedigree.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:24:00 AM  

  • In another thread you brought up Paul's fear of being disqualified. You were prolly hoping that nobody is aware that there is another way that Paul could have meant that. Like maybe he was affraid to be disqualified from being a preacher. There are commentaries that present that view.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:30:00 AM  

  • Who sets the standard of what is consistent free grace? I believe Lou Martuneac and JP and Knet Knight would beg to disagree.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:33:00 AM  

  • Sorry,
    I forgot to mention Kevl and the rest of the Free Grace Allience as opposed to whether or not you are the standard bearers.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:36:00 AM  

  • Lou Martuneac is only a step away from Lordship Salvation.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:38:00 AM  

  • And why is it that I am yet to encounter a calvinist who does not have full assurance of salvation?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:39:00 AM  

  • Where would you rate Ryrie?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:42:00 AM  

  • "In another thread you brought up Paul's fear of being disqualified. You were prolly hoping that nobody is aware that there is another way that Paul could have meant that. Like maybe he was affraid to be disqualified from being a preacher. There are commentaries that present that view."

    You know its funny that when Paul applies that possibility to himself, Calvinists rush to explain that it does not mean eternally lost.

    Yet when the same word is used (adokimos) is used in 2 Cor 13:5, they insist that it means unsaved.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:43:00 AM  

  • "And why is it that I am yet to encounter a calvinist who does not have full assurance of salvation?"

    Praise God for that.

    But if you do some historical reading, you will find that many Calvinists have been troubled over assurance.

    I think the confidence of modern Calvinists can be explained in terms of the influence of other theologies, such as the Brethren and revivalism.

    In the mid-19th century, their was a change in theological mood amongst British Calvinists. There was a shift towards Premillennialism and towards a greater emphasis on the value of assurance.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:46:00 AM  

  • Context, context.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:46:00 AM  

  • 'Where would you rate Ryrie?'

    He is not consistently Free Grace I believe.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:47:00 AM  

  • "Context, context."

    You are right. A word can have different meanings depending on the context.

    But it would be nice to see less haste in concluding that adokimos in 2 Cor 13:5 must mean unsaved.

    Maybe it is because a different English word is used in the blessed KJV.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:49:00 AM  

  • "But if you do some historical reading, you will find that many Calvinists have been troubled over assurance.

    I think the confidence of modern Calvinists can be explained in terms of the influence of other theologies, such as the Brethren and revivalism.

    In the mid-19th century, their was a change in theological mood amongst British Calvinists. There was a shift towards Premillennialism and towards a greater emphasis on the value of assurance."

    If free grace can refine itself why can not calvinism?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:49:00 AM  

  • "If free grace can refine itself why can not calvinism?"

    very true. I am sure it can.

    But it does seem a difficult theological dilemma. If some persons need to be warned as to whether their faith is real, how can one be sure that one's faith is real?

    I am not saying this is an insurmountable problem for Calvinists, but it is a difficulty.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 9:55:00 AM  

  • I look at it this way- In Isaiah 66:2b God shows us whom he would esteem; he who is contrite, and who trembles at His word. I look at Jeremiah 32:38-40. I see this as looking at one facet of the new covenant - that of having God puting within his own a fear of Him. So it is with the saint.

    Now, couple that fear with that saint looking to Christ alone for forgiveness and cleansing because of His sacrifice on the cross... there is the mixture for assurance. These things are NOT present in that one who does not know God.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 10:05:00 AM  

  • Mark, can we consider a particular warning passage in Matthew 24:

    "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

    and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

    the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

    and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    How can you be sure that you will never act like the person in this passage and thus not fall into the same judgment?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 6:01:00 AM  

  • "and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    Language reservered for those in hell. If I were to act like that there would be chastening, 1 Cor.11:32. Chastening, yes. Judgement, no. He chastens me now, before the grave, not after.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 7:37:00 AM  

  • Mark, you seem to admit that you could behave like that.

    How do you know that you will not behave in that way to the same extent as the wicked servant and thus go (assuming your assumption is correct) to hell?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 7:46:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Note that those mentioned earlier in 1 Cor. 11, looking at verse 30 - "many are weak and sick". How do you know that in this period they do not come to a point of confession, receiving forgiveness and cleansing BEFORE they die. Also, those of whom it is said that they "sleep", how do you know that they did not have a time of sickness and weakness - a time to repent and confess - before they fell asleep? Remember, the Lord is in complete control of the exact second of when each of His own will die. I refer at this point back to 1 Cor.11:32. Those who were asleep could have - I beleive that if they were true saints that they did - confessed and were cleansed before death; their death going on to serve as a warning to those in future times of God's desire for purity in the fellowship.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:06:00 AM  

  • If I sin like that servant I will be chastened. I may even suffer early death. But I believe that a time will be given for me to confess and receive forgiveness and cleansing first. Again, 1 Cor.11:32

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:14:00 AM  

  • "How do you know that in this period they do not come to a point of confession, receiving forgiveness and cleansing BEFORE they die. Also, those of whom it is said that they "sleep", how do you know that they did not have a time of sickness and weakness - a time to repent and confess - before they fell asleep?"

    That is certainly possible.

    An interesting statement in that passage, though is that the purpose of chastening is so that 'we are not judged with the world.'

    An important question is what it means to be 'judged with the world' which would appear to be a possibility.

    Are you going to answer that last question?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:18:00 AM  

  • "If I sin like that servant I will be chastened."

    That servant was 'cut asunder.'

    If you can admit that you could behave like the servant, how can you be confident you will not face the same fate?

    Otherwise what is the point of the warning?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:19:00 AM  

  • I believe that the early death is not the chastening, but rather a warning sign to those yet living. The chastening is in the sickness leading to death.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:20:00 AM  

  • Mark, so would you say the early death is being 'judged with the world'?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:22:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Unlike you I do not assume that wicked servant to have been a saved man. The language of his fate CANNOT apply to a saved person. The Lord chastens whom He loves. That chastening always is a corrective in the course towards Christ-likeness.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:25:00 AM  

  • "Mark, so would you say the early death is being 'judged with the world'?"

    No. Judgement with the world is after death.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:26:00 AM  

  • Death is something we all experience, saved or not.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:28:00 AM  

  • The Christian will not experience any thing as consequence for his sins after death other than loss of reward. Christ's sacrifice on the cross paid for it all.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:33:00 AM  

  • "No. Judgement with the world is after death...The Christian will not experience any thing as consequence for his sins after death other than loss of reward."

    So how can there be any connection between chastening and being judged with the world?

    Paul seems to say that chastening is given so that we will not be judged with the world.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:37:00 AM  

  • "'judged with the world' which would appear to be a possibility."

    Not a possibility. Notice that we are chastened "THAT WE MAY NOT BE CHASTENED WITH THE WORLD". He makes sure here that that will not happen.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:39:00 AM  

  • "Unlike you I do not assume that wicked servant to have been a saved man. The language of his fate CANNOT apply to a saved person. The Lord chastens whom He loves. That chastening always is a corrective in the course towards Christ-likeness."

    Let us assume you are correct.

    You have admitted you could behave like this servant. Given that is the case, is it possible that you might be an unsaved man like the servant?

    The passage appears to warn that those who behave like the wicked servant face that fate (in your opinion, being unsaved).

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:39:00 AM  

  • "Not a possibility. Notice that we are chastened "THAT WE MAY NOT BE CHASTENED WITH THE WORLD". He makes sure here that that will not happen."

    So if the Lord did not chasten us, would we be judged with the world?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

  • "Paul seems to say that chastening is given so that we will not be judged with the world."

    My point exactly. He intervenes so that judgement after death will NOT happen. Remember, He is in control of the exact second of the saint's death.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

  • "My point exactly. He intervenes so that judgement after death will NOT happen. Remember, He is in control of the exact second of the saint's death."

    If the believer's justified status frees her from judgment with the world after death, why should she need to suffer chastening or die prematurely to escape the judgment of the world?

    I dont udnerstand how account for the connection between chastening and judgment with the world after death.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:44:00 AM  

  • "You have admitted you could behave like this servant. Given that is the case, is it possible that you might be an unsaved man like the servant?"

    If I proceed to go on without chastening then it could, yea should be, concluded that I was an unsaved person.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:44:00 AM  

  • "If I proceed to go on without chastening then it could, yea should be, concluded that I was an unsaved person."

    So how can you be sure that will not happen?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:46:00 AM  

  • "If the believer's justified status frees her from judgment with the world after death, why should she need to suffer chastening or die prematurely to escape the judgment of the world?"

    You assume a different thing about what early death means than I do. I believe the early death is a warning to those yet living; not an escape from judgement with the world.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:47:00 AM  

  • Mark, can you clarify what you think Paul means by 'condemned with the world' in 1 Cor 11:32?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:50:00 AM  

  • "Mark, can you clarify what you think Paul means by 'condemned with the world' in 1 Cor 11:32?"

    Eternal wrath.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:52:00 AM  

  • So what is the connection that Paul makes between chastening/ premature death and eternal wrath in that verse?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:55:00 AM  

  • "So what is the connection that Paul makes between chastening/ premature death and eternal wrath in that verse?"

    Chastening happens in the weakness. During that ime confession happens and the resultant cleansing and forgiveness.

    Premature death goes on to serve as a warning to those yet living.

    Eternal wrath - or any kind of wrath- is only for the unbeliever.

    I must step away from the computer to take care of some business. I hope to be back in two days; perhaps Wednesday.

    See you then, the Lord willing.
    Mark

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 13, 2008 9:02:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    Let me run this by you, for your scrutiny (it's a bit of a work in progress) ;)

    God judges the world according to His revealed Will for them in General Revelation: Rom 1:18

    God judges the believer according to His revealed Will for them in His Covenant with them (both Old and New): Rom 3:5-8.

    Old Covenant
    Uzzah

    David's 2 attempts at bringing back the Ark were different in one significant detail. His first attempt resulted in the death of Uzzah one of his personal bodyguards and one of the 30 might men of Israel at the time. However, 3 months later David succeeds in bringing the Ark to Jerusalem because he learned something he didn't know before about relating to God.

    2 Samuel 6 and I Chronicles 13 & 15.

    Covenant detail infringed
    "Then David said, "No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the LORD chose them to carry the ark of the LORD and to minister before him forever." I Chron. 15:2

    Covenant keepers are identified by these boundary markers, ie. you know a Jew because he insists on allowing only Levites to perform the functions assigned to them SPECIFICALLY by Torah. Any Jew breaking the terms of the covenant would be cut off from God's people and be numbered among the unbelievers and judged according to his new status. God intervenes and judges Him immediately under the Covenant of believers.

    New Covenant
    The Corinthian Believers

    The Church participates in the Communion unworthily:1 Cor 11:27-33

    Covenant detail infringed
    23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.


    NOTE
    Ignorance of the Law is no defence against the Law.

    PS Are FreeGracers guilty of not preaching on the "Overcomers" teaching as it requires some amount of pre-understanding? I can imagine that it wouldn't be a very popular issue to preach off the cuff. Brings to mind how many preachers are closet Calvinists: pre-destination doesnt go down very well in the pews...

    Actually, I'd rather discuss this issue...what do you think?

    By Blogger anton, at Monday, October 13, 2008 10:16:00 AM  

  • Anton, thanks for your comment.

    I think I differ from you in how I understand the New Covenant.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Tuesday, October 14, 2008 12:45:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    My experience is that synthesized views of seemingly antithetical passages go through several iterations (own or borrowed) before we find the truth.

    I've realised what the truth in the following verse involves:

    John 20:29
    Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

    When I get down on my knees and confess my inability, God provides the answers. Looks like others have similar experiences:

    Quote
    I'd like to give you a short testimony of something that God did in my life...
    Many years ago I went to a church where my pastor taught that 1 John was about fellowship. That sounded good to me. Then a very gifted Bible teacher on the radio taught that it was evidences of our salvation. I respected both of these men at the time. Which was right? I would look at it one way and say... "Yes, that's right." Then I would look at it from the other perspective and say... "Yes, that sounds right." I went back and forth. I just didn't know for sure? After much of this I turned to the Lord and said something like... "Lord, I give up. I don't understand this book. I've tried to understand it, but I just don't know. So Lord I'm not going to read it anymore for now because it doesn't do me any good. I don't know what it means by what it says. I'm so confused."
    I prayed that respectfully to the Lord. I was just being honest with Him. I was NOT accusing Him of anything.

    Then about 10 years later after I had been introduced to GES and Zane Hodges, I found myself reading 1 John and understanding it (having confidence) for the first time. It dawned on me that God answered my prayer. He gave me understanding. I didn't even realize that was happening until 10 years later. God is so faithful.

    Oooops.... time to go pick up a couple grandkids from school. But I'll be back. Thanks for the opportunity to chat with you both.

    In Jesus' love,
    Diane

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=17392026&postID=2350216639117211775


    Isn't that marvellous! I believe God, and He helps me benefit from the labour and sweat of hard working scholars (well I assume that they laboured...unless those scholars believed and received like I did!) and not just any view, but the right view!

    Matthew,

    Question
    If the Lord did not chasten us, would we be judged with the world? :)

    Question
    What is your view of the the New Covenant: is it the standard dispensationalist view?

    Regards,

    Anton

    By Blogger anton, at Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:34:00 AM  

  • Anton

    "What is your view of the the New Covenant: is it the standard dispensationalist view?"

    I take Darby's view that the New Covenant is for Israel. The Church does not participate in it, but is blessed through the blood of Christ which confirms the New Covenant.

    Not sure what the standard Dispensational view is. Not Scofield's view for sure. Chafer's 2 New Covenants?

    "If the Lord did not chasten us, would we be judged with the world? :)"

    He does chasten us. Bit does that chastening always produce results.

    Paul seems to imply in 1 Cor 11:32 that chastening is meant to prevent the believer from being condemned with the world. That surely implies that a justified believer can be condemned with the world; whatever that means.

    I am inclined to think that failure to respond to chastening may result in millennial exclusion and temporary banishment to hell. But I could be wrong about that.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:50:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    You know I have always had a bone to pick with Aristotle and his humanistic philosophy, but the origins of man's pride goes further back than that, and God took a decisive step at Babel to curb it and its effects. Henceforth, strains of that philosophy have always reared up, but no man has ever completely agreed with any one. At one time, it seemed that this view prevailed universally, with Aquinas, Descartes holding forth strongly, and the only counters, weakly, were from Hume and Kant. Here's an article that explains how the Enlightenment influenced the old Princetonians:

    Quote
    It seems that more often than not, dispensationalists were either unaware of or had simply ignored the role of philosophical presuppositions in their hermeneutical methodology. Bernard Ramm points out this characteristic ineptness towards philosophy in Lewis Sperry Chafer’s theology, in particular. “In reading Chafer’s theology, it is apparent that he is not at home at all in philosophy. He makes rare references to philosophers, and in most cases Chafer is citing some other source and not the philosopher directly.”

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=2875

    Would you consider the possibilty that God would judge the believer with sickness and death, rather than with giving them over, as He does with unbelievers?

    Acts 5:9 Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.”

    Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them

    Moses pleads with God not to destroy the Israelites, taking shelter in the fact that it would show God's ability to bring them into the Promised Land in a bad light. Peter, however, calls down God's wrath on HIS team members! Note the claims about the Holy Spiit in vs 3 and 32.

    Something unique happening there.

    By Blogger anton, at Tuesday, October 14, 2008 10:42:00 PM  

  • Anton, the believer is eternally justified so the believer will never be given over as the world is.

    Which makes it strange that Paul sees a role in chastening in preventing the believer being 'condemned with the world.'

    I think we should compare the verse with 1 Cor 5:5, where cahstening at the hand of Satan so that his sould may be saved at the Day of the Lord.

    How does his chastening help to secure his salvation at the Day of the Lord?

    I would suggest that it would lead him to repent (as he appears to have done) and thus avoid judgement at the Day of the Lord. Comparing that with 1 Cor 11:32, that judgment would seem to be being 'condenmed with the world.' To be given his portion with the unbelieving.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 12:50:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    In Hebrews 12:5-13, do we not have a very all-encompassing definition of chastening?

    Things gleaned from there -
    God chastens [all] whom He loves, verse 6 and 7 and 8.

    He does so that we may be partakers of His holiness,verse 10.

    It inevitably yields the peacable fruit of righteousness, verse 11.

    In the case you brought up in Matthew 24, "and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites:", why isn't chastening in his life, and it's inevitable results, mentioned there? IOW, I see no mention of this individual having been chastened of the Lord. Further he has his "portion with the hypocrites" - signs that he was no son.

    Would you consider those in 1 Cor.11, those who died, their death, was that chastening? If so would that not fall outside the definition of chastening provided to us in Hebrews 12:5-13?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:19:00 AM  

  • Matthew wrote:
    I think we should compare the verse with 1 Cor 5:5, where cahstening at the hand of Satan so that his sould may be saved at the Day of the Lord.

    How does his chastening help to secure his salvation at the Day of the Lord?

    I would suggest that it would lead him to repent (as he appears to have done) and thus avoid judgement at the Day of the Lord. Comparing that with 1 Cor 11:32, that judgment would seem to be being 'condenmed with the world.' To be given his portion with the unbelieving.


    The mechanism seems to be a "sealing" or "branding".

    paideuo <3811>

    from 3816; to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication),
    discipline (by punishment):-chasten(-ise), instruct, learn, teach.
    see GREEK for 3816

    NASB Hebrews 11:28 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

    IOW, you are identified as God's child if you are disciplined. No discipline, no sonship.

    Contrast chastening with condemnation, sonship with world.

    By Blogger anton, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:21:00 AM  

  • Ooops!

    Hi Mark!

    Hail fellow well met, wot?

    Fine minds think alike, eh?

    Blessings,

    Anton

    By Blogger anton, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:27:00 AM  

  • Mark

    "In Hebrews 12:5-13, do we not have a very all-encompassing definition of chastening?"

    Not necessarily. The purpose of that passage is pastoral rather than doctrinal.

    "In the case you brought up in Matthew 24, "and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites:", why isn't chastening in his life, and it's inevitable results, mentioned there? IOW, I see no mention of this individual having been chastened of the Lord."

    It is a parabolic passage. Not every aspect of the subject will be brought up.

    Ananias and Saphirah were not chastened prior to their death.

    Chastening is used at God's sovereign pleasure. We do not know why in some cases God does not chasten His children for some sins.

    "Would you consider those in 1 Cor.11, those who died, their death, was that chastening? If so would that not fall outside the definition of chastening provided to us in Hebrews 12:5-13?"

    Possibly. If you think tha Hebrews 12:5-13 is a definition of chastening, then that that text is going to be a problem for you.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 7:51:00 AM  

  • ""In Hebrews 12:5-13, do we not have a very all-encompassing definition of chastening?"

    Not necessarily. The purpose of that passage is pastoral rather than doctrinal."
    ============
    Could you then provide me with yet another portion of scripture that can be included in the definition of chastening. If you provide one that takes the definition in another direction would that not contradict the lesson put forth in Hebrews 12:5-13?
    ================
    "In the case you brought up in Matthew 24, "and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites:", why isn't chastening in his life, and it's inevitable results, mentioned there? IOW, I see no mention of this individual having been chastened of the Lord."

    It is a parabolic passage. Not every aspect of the subject will be brought up."
    ==============
    Matthew I see a cop-out here. I observed in the Hebrews 12:5-13 passage that chastening always has the result in yielding the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Please don't over-look my arguments.
    ==============
    "Ananias and Saphirah were not chastened prior to their death."
    =========
    There is no proof that they were saved. It is noted that after their death the no one dared join the church. And yet later it is written that the Lord added daily to the church. Acts 5:13-14. I believe that Anonias and his wife merely tried to fit in without actually knowing Christ.
    ==============
    "Chastening is used at God's sovereign pleasure. We do not know why in some cases God does not chasten His children for some sins."
    =============
    What you said there completely flies in the face of what Hebrews 12:6-8 teaches. There it is taught that the Lord chastens ALL whom He loves. That ALL are partakers.
    ============
    ""Would you consider those in 1 Cor.11, those who died, their death, was that chastening? If so would that not fall outside the definition of chastening provided to us in Hebrews 12:5-13?"

    Possibly. If you think tha Hebrews 12:5-13 is a definition of chastening, then that that text is going to be a problem for you."
    ===========
    I don't see how...

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 8:29:00 AM  

  • "Could you then provide me with yet another portion of scripture that can be included in the definition of chastening. If you provide one that takes the definition in another direction would that not contradict the lesson put forth in Hebrews 12:5-13?"

    1 Cor 11:32 and 1 Cor 5:5. I believe the purpose of chastening here is to protect the believer from suffering wrath on the Day of the Lord.

    "There is no proof that they were saved."

    There is no proof either that they were not saved. They told a lie. Do believers never tell lies?

    They suffered death because of their sin, as did the Corinthian believers.

    "There it is taught that the Lord chastens ALL whom He loves. That ALL are partakers."

    But does He cahsten us for every sin we commit? Does God not sometimes allow us to continue in sin for a while without intervention?

    "Matthew I see a cop-out here. I observed in the Hebrews 12:5-13 passage that chastening always has the result in yielding the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Please don't over-look my arguments."

    Hebrews 12:11 says that the peaceable fruits of righteousness are yielded by those who are EXCERCISED by it.

    Exercised (gumnazo) means to be trained, as an athlete is trained.

    If chastening trains you then you will yield fruits.

    But what if you aren't trained by it?

    The character of this passage is very similar to Proverbs, which makes general statements. They do not deal with every case.

    The author makes the comparison with fatherly discipline.

    Did your children always respond to your discipline?

    Do children sometimes continue to rebel if they after they are chastened?

    Sometimes they do.

    But that does not remove the fact that when a person is trained by discipline, it does yield fruit.

    Every blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:00:00 AM  

  • "1 Cor 11:32 and 1 Cor 5:5. I believe the purpose of chastening here is to protect the believer from suffering wrath on the Day of the Lord."
    ======
    As I outlined earlier in this thread - the sickness mentioned there (1 Cor.11) would be the chastening, the early death a warning to those yet living.

    In the 1 Cor. 5 paasage, the destruction of the flesh does not necessarily mean death. Now, applying what we see in Hebrews 12:5-13, the very definition of chastening, it most certainly is not talking about death since Heb.12 teaches that chastening has only to do with BEFORE the grave.

    Now, once again, does not Hebrews 12:5-13 teach that THE FATHER'S chastening always brings about the peaceable fruit of righteousness?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:44:00 AM  

  • Matthew, good post. You have nicely explained the weakness of both positions.

    Failure to understand God's dealings with His children leave many Christians frustrated and confused about the nature of salvation.

    By Blogger Jim, at Wednesday, October 15, 2008 10:27:00 AM  

  • Thanks, Jim.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:27:00 PM  

  • "Now, once again, does not Hebrews 12:5-13 teach that THE FATHER'S chastening always brings about the peaceable fruit of righteousness?"

    Read it carefully, Mr. Pierson.

    It says that it yields peaceable fruits of righteosness to those who are exercised (trained) by it.

    Just as a child only yields fruot from discipline when she is exercised by that discipline, the Lord's chastening only yields fruit when the believer is exercised by it.

    A child may remain stubborn after a spanking and so may a believer.

    This ought to be pretty obvious, but you want to make a polemical point out of the verse, so naturally commonsense goes out of the window.

    "In the 1 Cor. 5 paasage, the destruction of the flesh does not necessarily mean death. Now, applying what we see in Hebrews 12:5-13, the very definition of chastening, it most certainly is not talking about death since Heb.12 teaches that chastening has only to do with BEFORE the grave."

    As regards 1 Cor 5:5 you are absolutely right.

    The destruction of the flesh almost certainly did not mean death.

    My point is that in 1 Cor 5:5 we see a purpose of chastening is to ensure that the subject is saved on the day of the Lord.

    This is an element of chastening that is not mentioned in Hebrews 12.

    Hence your attempt to make that text an all-encompassing definition of chastening is illegitimate.

    People emphasise Hebrews 12 when it comes to chastening because that passage makes for an easier sermon to preach than the one about being delivered up to Satan.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:35:00 PM  

  • I did read it carefully, young sir. You'll notice that this letter is written to a people going through tremendous trial and persecution. In chapter 12:5 we see the writer of Hebrews attribute this situation to the chastening of the Lord. We see in verses 6-8 that ALL of God's true children are subject to it - ALL without exception. If one does not partake of chastening then one is not a son, contra your earlier unscriptural claim that some do not get chastened by some soveriegn choice of God.

    How is it that you are comfortable placing a human father's chastening on a par with the perfectly wise chastening of "the Father of spirits"? Again, it is clear that these Hebrews were already in His chastening process. The writer is encouraging them to "buck-up" under it. It was clearly an experience that the Hebrews would not have chosen for themselves to go through. God's design is that they would go on to be partakers of His holiness. There is no indication in this passage that His chastenings ever fail. "Afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" which clearly these Hebrews were already in the thick of it, and not by their own choice.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 17, 2008 4:07:00 AM  

  • Matt,

    been very busy...

    Just had the opportunity to read this post. You succinctly state your points and I whole heartedly agree with what you say. I appreciate your insight.

    your consistent free grace brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, October 17, 2008 7:30:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Antonio.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 18, 2008 8:24:00 AM  

  • "ALL without exception. If one does not partake of chastening then one is not a son, contra your earlier unscriptural claim that some do not get chastened by some soveriegn choice of God."

    As a reader of Calvinist literature, you must be aware that 'all' does not necessarily always mean a totality of persons.

    Even if we grant that it does mean that all believers are chastened, and you may be right about that; I merely suggested earlier that not all sin in the life of a believer necessarily results in discipline. It is the Father's prerogative to use discipline as He pleases in accordance with His purposes.

    "There is no indication in this passage that His chastenings ever fail."

    Why would the author suggest this possibility? It is a lesson of encouragement, not a theological treatise.

    "Afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" which clearly these Hebrews were already in the thick of it, and not by their own choice."

    They were facing discipline, but would they respond to it?

    One must be exercised by discipline for it to have an effect.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 18, 2008 8:34:00 AM  

  • "I merely suggested earlier that not all sin in the life of a believer necessarily results in discipline. It is the Father's prerogative to use discipline as He pleases in accordance with His purposes."

    There is no indication that these Hebreww readers brought on this chastening from the Lord due to disobedience. It would seem that some chastening comes about as part of the natural process of being conformed to the image of Christ. IOW, just as training and hard work are part of the process of becoming a champion in sports, so is chastening a necessary thing in the growing to be Christ-like.

    No, God does not chasten every sin. Some He leaves to the ministry of the word. If however the word is not allowed to cleans then chastening is inevtable.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 18, 2008 8:43:00 AM  

  • "There is no indication that these Hebreww readers brought on this chastening from the Lord due to disobedience. It would seem that some chastening comes about as part of the natural process of being conformed to the image of Christ."

    I have heard that quite a lot, but I am not so sure.

    A parent does not chasten her child unless she has done something wrong.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 18, 2008 8:53:00 AM  

  • "I have heard that quite a lot, but I am not so sure."

    Where do we go to find that these Hebrew readers brought this chastening on by an act of disobedience? A portion of what He told the Laodieans applies to all: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten..." Rev.3:19. It seems to be a matter of general principal.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 18, 2008 9:14:00 AM  

  • Do Believers Experience the Wrath of God?

    Quote
    God’s wrath also falls upon the regenerate, as one can reasonably argue from Heb 3:11 and 4:3. In Heb 3:7-15, the writer exhorts the Hebrew Christians by quoting from Ps 95:7-11. This is an appropriate
    worship psalm for this occasion. The author’s audience is on the verge of leaving the Christian worship system (cf. 10:25) and returning to
    Judaism.22 Three clues give evidence to the fact that these were Hebrew
    Christians.

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

    Enjoy!

    By Blogger anton, at Sunday, October 19, 2008 12:56:00 AM  

  • From the Lopez article...

    "The New Testament is very far, however, from asserting that
    the Christian is automatically, as it were, removed from any
    manifestation of divine anger. The burden of its message is
    that the justified sinner must become the sanctified sinner. He
    is called to abide in the divine love. The essential difference
    between the believer and the unbeliever is that, while the
    latter, whether he realizes it or not, is inevitably subject to
    God’s wrath, the believer, by continual submission to the Holy
    Spirit, remains under grace, and so escapes that wrath. Paul
    was much concerned to warn the Christian of the danger of
    being deluded by a false sense of security.74
    God’s wrath does not discriminate when it comes to sin. Wrath is as
    much of a reality for believers as it is for unbelievers.
    74 Tasker,"

    No Calvinist would disagree with the above.

    During my cursory read through I noticed how Lopez treated Hebrews 3. Again, as is often the case, the "brethren" issue came up. Not all theologions are in agreement that just because an NT writer uses that term that he assumes that all who attend fellowship on a regular basis, and, in this case, all who would hear the reading of this letter are indeed regenerate. This is a major dividing point on how various groups do theology. Many realize that the Kingdom of God in the world is made up of both tares as well as wheat; sons of the kingdom, and sons of the wicked one; of things that offend; and of those who practice lawlessness; the wicked and the just. The warning passages going to the saved is a view that stems from the point of view that states that since the writer addresses them as "brethren" he must surely mean that true saints are addressed here. The letter is addressing a grouping of people, a grouping composed of both those who will "hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end"; and of those who will apostisize.

    That God's anger is the force behind His chastening of the saints is debatable. No one will argue against the idea that His wrath is already being manifest - per Romans 1 and 2 - in the world, and that sin is what arouses that wrath. But it would seem that God's program of discipline for the believer is part of the normal process, to be experienced by all saints. See Hebrews 12:6-8; Revelation 3:19. It is much like readin' writin' and 'rthmatic are an essential part of your grade school experience. So is chastening a part of your growth into Christ-likeness.

    That said, however, if a saint were to partake of sin, he cannot think he can do so with impunity. Unfaithfulness to one's spouse can bring VD, AIDS, divorce and other crushing experiences onto the sinning saint. Of that no mainstream Christian would disagree.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 19, 2008 7:44:00 AM  

  • Anton, thankyou for your contribution.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, October 19, 2008 8:00:00 AM  

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