DJC49 wrote: Enough of your silly "hypermen" nonsense. Let this come as no surprise to you (I'm quite sure that it doesn't), but Calvinists know that God uses MEANS to accomplish His sovereign will concerning the salvation of His elect. These MEANS include: the Gospel; sinful men and the foolishness of preaching; the prayers of these sinful men; and a host of contingencies to accomplish His election.
Sorry to butt into your conversation with Mr.Dispy. Just a question. Do you think the prayers of saints have any impact on Gods conversion of a man? Is there evidence from the N.T, and where are we commanded to pray for sinners? I can think of a place where we are told not to pray for the world.
These are genuine questions, and are not intended to begin a controversial debate, which seems to be the norm on this site when questions on election etc. arise. I would just like to know your thoughts, as these questions have been rolling about in my head lately.
These verses quoted ( John 3v36, 1 John 5v10 and John 3v18 ) simply tell us the state of people who do not believe. Those who are not believers are in a state of condemnation, those who do believe are not condemned. We were in a state of condemnation before we were saved, its called being a sinner. They do not, however, indicate God's feelings toward us, but John 3v16 tells us that God loved the world. There is much debate on what this means. It obviously means people and I for one see it as being mankind. To say "for God so loved certain people or people groups in the world" does this scripture an injustice in my humble opinion.
That name you use is a bit close for comfort, people my get us mixed up and accuse me of all sorts of heresy.
Can I state that Thinking Christian ( the orginal ) and Christian Thinking are not the same person, so please be careful.
Here, I could be from the South of the Island for all you know. I don't listen to any online sermons. I am not a protestant. I am very aware of Mr Silversides and Mr Brown, but I do not listen/read much of their material. Mr Spurgeon, a good Baptist. I have read a bit of his writing. No problem at all with telling anyone that God loves them. Are you Irish or do you live overseas, or both?
I hope you don't mind me throwing a thought or two into the mix.
I have to say, I agree with DJC49 and JD. Might seem odd, and I hope I have picked up on your arguments properly
Firstly, in agreement with DJC49, I don't think you can use these verses to prove faith comes before regeneration ( as much as I would like it to ), as I don't believe that the Spirit falling on the apostles or these believers has any more of a link to salvation than when the Spirit of God came mightily upon Samson on more than one occasion to accomplish a certain task.
In agreement with JD. I would say that this event ( not regeneration ) happened to those who had already exercised faith and were believers. Verse 17 of Acts 10 seems clear enought on that point for me saying "He gave us when we believed".
Maybe a discussion on the work of the Holy Spirit would be edifying sometime?
Can I ask a question though? Is it wrong to tell sinners that God loves them?
When you split a sentence from a paragraph it takes it out of context The sentences that follow clarify my first sentence and puts it in context. But, granted lads, it could have be put a little better. I know how you fellas like to dot your i's and cross you t's. After all what is it they say "it's not what you say that matters it's how you are heard". The work of salvation in the believer is the focus in the verses not how the Spirit works. Thats what I was emphazing.
Read john 1v12 & 13. "as many as received Him, to them he gave the right to become children of God". Those who believe are born of God, not of our own will, or of the flesh. This verse does not even hint, as is being implied, that God saves whom He wants when He wants, it tells us that Gods will is to save those who believe, when they believe.
John 3v8 . Who is likened to the wind? Believers. "Everyone who is born of the Spirit", not the Spirit Himself. What John is saying is that this act of being born again is an invisible work (like the wind) in a believer, not physical (which nicodemus had such a problem getting his head around). But, there is evidence of its existence, thats how you know it's real.
Man cannot regenerate himself, that is totally an act of God. God promises to regenerate those who believe/exercise faith. Therefore man is passive in the act of regeneration.
By the way, I noticed on another subject you would like to get your hands on a copy of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster hymnal. I will have a look about for a spare copy somewhere, I know quite a few Free P,s over here in Ireland.
Had a quick glance at your quote of Louis Berkhof. If you had read his proof texts on the Holy Spirit you would have noticed that the Holy Spirit is not mentioned at all in any of these verses. None of the verses talk of regeneration of sinners, in fact Lydia and the Philippians Paul addresses were already believers. Strange isn't it.
Anyway, lets move on from Mr Berkhofs theological failings to important stuff.
Here is a verse which does speak of regeneration. 2 Cor 5v17. Regeneration happens at conversion, when we are born in God's family, when we are placed in Christ and made into new creations.
Regeneration means to create anew or create again.
By the way, a bit of advice just between you and I. Quit reading that fella Berkhof, the Beano makes more sense that some of the stuff in his books.
"So what you are saying is that somehow you must contribute something for your own salvation.
Last time I checked the scriptures, it says that one must BE born again, not get himself born again. "
How do you come up with such nonsense? Did I say that we had to conribute to our salvation? Did I once say there is no need to be born again? Please reply and show quotes.
John chapter 3 v 3 states that unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom... Nicodemus did not understand (verse 10). Jesus makes it very simple (something that maybe does not suit your theology) Verse 12 Belief is crucial Verse 15 Believe and don't persish Verse 16 Believe and don't persish Verse 18 Believe and don't be condemned
The context was DJC49's confusion on HOW we are born again. I was simply stating that in order to avail of the salvation offered a man has to believe. That is what the scripture plainly teaches.
Maybe you do not agree with salvation by faith/belief, but it is not truthful to try to misrepresent or twist what a person is very obviously saying.
DJC49 wrote: "Except a man be born again, he CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God." [John 3:3] It confounds me how anyone can first believe in something of which he can't even see,
I was sitting back reading the postings determined not to take part, but I did not have the will-power.
I just could not leave you in a state of being confounded on such a simple subject. I think I can help you.
"Except a man be born again". How is a man changed/made anew etc? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Believe and you will be saved, do not believe and you will perish. Simple. "Cannot see" is literal. If you don't believe, if you have not experienced new birth, you cannot see/enter/experience the kingdom of God. Nothing at all to do with spiritual sight or lack of it.
I was considering your problem and have come up with some wise thoughts. Buy the chocolate eggs after easter, when they are cheap. You get to enjoy more eggs for less money and you are not celebrating easter as its over.
There's something about the chocolate though, its maybe the quality of coco or the chocolate to air ratio, but it always tastes better egg shaped. Notice I don't even call them easter eggs because you can enjoy chocolate eggs all year round.
By the way, theres just no need for christains to observe/celebrate feasts, passovers etc of any kind. We should be thinking about Christs birth, death and resurrection regularly anyway. The Lords table/communion/breaking of bread should be more that enough.
Observation Post wrote: Yes it does and I think we are in general agreement.
First I am not a follower of Calvin. Elect means chosen. Jesus was chosen to be the Savior of His people while His people were chosen to be conformed to His image; that is, His crucified, buried and risen to glory image. It's that simple. Amen?
Thanks fo the reply OB. Sorry mine has taken so long to get to you, busy of late. Amen? yes indeed. I agree totally with your post.
Do you see being conformed to His image as being the same as being saved?
DJC49 wrote: And how does Jude 4-7 affirm that one can lose his salvation? ...
Couldn't agree with you more DJC49.
Funny, I had a conversation with a few Jehovah Witnesses' a week or so ago, and during our discussion they brought up this Jude passage as 'proof' for being saved then lost. But as you say , just where in the passage is this even touched on. I, for the life of me can't find it. So, well spoken.
Icon O'Clast wrote: I don't think you can seperate worship and praise any more than you can seperate fear and reverence or grace and mercy.
Interesting points. I think you miss my point though. Praise is always verbal/audible. Worship is not. Do you believe that we can worship God without opening our mouths? Of course. Do you believe we can worship God in silent prayer or in our thoughts? Of course. On Revelation. Praise is there and so is worship granted. Prostrating themselves describes their posture before or even as they worshiped, but its not worship and throwing crowns was an act that resulted from worship, but not worship. Do you fall down and throw crowns in your local assembly. I think not, but it would be good fun watching.
On grace and mercy, they are totally seperate. One is God giving us what we don't deserve, and the other is God not giving us what we do deserve. How are they always linked?
Preacher wrote: But when he asked if anyone was willing to get into the wheelbarrow, he got no takers. You see, they had faith, but they didn't have faith.
What is faith? It is more than just trusting and believing. It is total and complete surrender to Jesus Christ!
Preacher, I see where you are going with the story etc, but those people in the story did not have faith, they just said they did. They obviously did not believe that Blondin could take them accross safley or they would have acted.
In salvation, if we believe the gospel message, we have to act in faith to believe and confess.
Faith is just trusting and believeing, but I agree that complete surrender to Christ is involved in that belief.
Derek wrote: Icon It's not that faith is some add-on item that God installs at birth, but rather something that everyone born has. The problem arises with sin. It is not that people can't believe, but that the WON'T believe, because they love their sin.
Well said Derek.
Faith is faith. I hear the phrase 'saving faith' thrown around as if its a different or a special type of faith. Not so. We exercise faith ( just plain old ordinary faith).
Faith is trust/belief. Thats it. Faith is not a special gift, salvation is a gift obtained through faith. God has decided to use faith as the channel for salvation. Why does He do that? Grace is the opposite of Works. Salvation is offered in Grace. How do we obtain it if we can't work for it? We simply receive it by faith. We agree with God, we exercise our faith and believe that Christ is who he said He is, that He did what He said He did and we trust in that for our salvation, it really is that simple. There is no need to complicate it further.
Can we honestly think that belief is a work, bearing in mind that works can be anything that we consciously engage in, thinking that it will gain us merit with God.
DJC49 wrote: _____ You should somehow inform James about that, TC. Read James 1:14-26 where he clearly makes the distinction between a "dead" kind of faith and a saving faith. [That's all I'll say here about FAITH as it's not topical -- as noted below]
Thanks for the comment DJC49. You are right about one thing,I should not have mentioned faith here, I was replying to a post from my friend minnow. Sorry moderator Alpha. I will post a reply to your thoughts on James under the topic 'What is Faith', if you wish to have a look later.
Minnow wrote: Hey TC I didn't know they had Arminians over there on the Emerald Isle? PS Man made faith doesn't work unto salvation.
I don't know where you live, but wherever it is they are strong on comedy and weak on theology. I jest.
P.S. No such thing as man made faith or saving faith. Faith is faith. I'm not an arminian by the way. You must have missed my post agreeing with once saved always saved. There is an alternative to calvanism and arminianism you know. Its called beleiving the Bible.
A few thoughts to whoever wants to think about them.
There is obviously a problem. Christ died for the sins of the world. And Christ died for the elect. Both are clear from scripture. Both seem to contadict one another. Thus both arminium and calvinist camps try to manipulate verses which look as if they don't fit into their theological mould.
I suggest we are thinking about it the wrong way.
Who or what was Christ dying for. If we think in numbers of sins or numbers of sinners we've missed the point. Christ was dying for God. God was the offended party in all of this. It was God who needed His justice and wrath satisfied.
When scripture states that Christ died for the world and the elect both are true because christ didn't die for a number, He died to answer the sin question, if you like. He died to 'free' (you will understand my use of the word herre) the Father up to forgive those who believe. When Christ called out 'it is finished' He was declaring that the perfect sacrifice was accepted by the father, the offence God endured as a result of our cosmic treason was now soothed and reconciliation was now possible.
So, my answer to the quesion is Christ died for God We just enjoy the results.
Dr. Phil wrote: Do the verses you quote define the faith of God as "receiving a gift" or a "response to the call of God"? No, While faith itself is given by God, it is defined as "belief of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:13) or "assent" to the truth of the Word of God. Faith itself is a work of God, because men "will not" believe the truth apart from the grace of God. If men have a free will to accept or reject "His gift", then they are not depraved as you say.
I would disagree on one point and question another. Faith is not a gift. Salvation is a gift, offered in grace and received by faith. Ep 2 v 8&9
Total depravity is accepted by everyone, I would hope. It suggests being morally corrupt, twisted or wicked. Thats fine but what I think what you are saying is different. Its Total inability you describe. I hope I taken you up right. Let me know. Total depravity is easy to prove from scripture, but total inability is not just so handy.
A question. How do you define a work? And if you can define a work, then how can you say faith is a work?
Faith is, by it's very nature, the opposite of work. Ep 2 v 8 & 9 makes it very clear that salvation is offered in grace by God, accepted in faith by man and this leaves no room at all for meritorious works or boasting.
There is no merit in the act of believing. When you exercise faith you are, by doing so, saying to God that you cannot save yourself and you need His salvation. Faith is an act not a work.
By the way, before you accuse me of being an arminian, I'm not. This is just basic biblical understanding.