You believe that 1. You are sinless? NOPE 2. God elects you because you are sinless? NOPE 3. Atonement is unlimited so everybody gets saved? NOPE 4. Grace is irrelevant because you resist it anyway? NOPE 5. You do not need any help from God? NOPE
And He gives the needed grace to those who obey His command to abide in Him. Without Him we can do nothing, but if one with the Spirit finds he can do nothing, it's probably because he is disobeying the command to ABIDE. Those who CONTINUE and ABIDE in Him know Him; they are known by Him; and they receive and walk in the grace He gives.
Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: [but] the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Sometimes I wonder if those believing in neo-gnosticism (Calvinism) find it harder to keep themselves pure from porn and other gross sins of the flesh due to the fatalism in Calvinism?
It seems to me that one might not be inclined to do their own part if one believes that they can add absolutely nothing to their walk of holiness. Does that make it harder to stay pure I wonder, when folks believe that it's only a matter of Jesus making them pure, instead of understanding and trusting/obeying the scriptural commandment to "keep oneself pure"?
It's an honest question to think about. Maybe some find it difficult to obey the Lord's command to walk in holiness. Would perhaps understanding doctrine in a more Christ-honoring way help us to be separate from the world?
I noticed someone said below that many devout Christians are addicted to porn. Is that the consensus here?
Lurker: When I thanked you for the Jude and Romans references I thought I essentially covered my agreement with what seems like a rhetorical question to me.
Of course he doesn't "need" my help. Everything I would bring to the table is a direct gift from Him anyway, so if if I were called to participate in STANDing (which obviously we all are) then that would never mean that any of us "helped" God.
Using His freely given grace and free will to choose to obey the Biblical commandment to STAND (see Ephesians) would only be considered by the most ignorant to be "helping" God.
Hey Lurker... I think you might have misunderstood my antagonism against false doctrine for having a chip on my shoulder. That's OK, I can see how that could happen, as your interpretive framework and mine are at completely different ends of the spectrum. (That said, I do appreciate your comments on the Jude and Romans references.)
If you're really interested in dealing with chips on people's shoulders, may I suggest you direct your attention to a number of dear confused neo-gnostics who have pronounced me to be a servant of Satan, etc. Perhaps you could assist some of those nice folks with their shoulder chips? Just a thought.
In all seriousness though, I think I will take this opportunity to encourage each reader of this thread to:
1. Purify YOURSELF! 2. Keep YOURSELF from sin! 3. Live righteously! 4. Be holy!
So many people like to set-up camp in Roman 7 and 1 John 1.
We ought to put down our stakes in in Romans 8: "For if you live after the flesh ye shall die." and "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God".
And in 1 John 2: "These things have I written unto you THAT YE SIN NOT. IF anyone sins (not WHEN!), we have an advocate."
It baffles me that those who claim to be led by the Spirit of God are not zealous to be holy. He is the Spirit of Holiness. Jesus came to DESTROY the works of the devil. If the Son sets you free, ye shall be FREE INDEED! Why it is that people want to talk about how sinful they are is beyond me -- don't you want to glory in Christ who is giving you freedom from sin?
Mike: It seems to me that one who is born again cannot lose his eternal life. If he could, it wouldn't be eternal life.
Unprofitable Servant: And your problem is that you need more practice guessing other people's problems? I never said belief = salvation. That was Frank below, not me. I would be the last person to say that, because I'm fully aware of the "believers" in Luke 8:13 and John 8:31 who were not saved, like the demons of James.
You can sense that I'm not seeking can you? You might need practice with your sensing skills too?
IkeMike: Thank-you. Good to see not everyone here is duped by neo-Gnosticism.
John UK: Yes, you're right. I didn't give my interpretation intentionally as my purpose is to see if you understand how these texts do not contradict each other. To answer your question: All truly born again are believers; but not all "believers" are truly born again.
And I didn't once say, nor do I believe, that the Luke 8:13 "believers" are "true believers who were born again", as you suggested that I believe. *THE LORD KNOWS THOSE WHO ARE HIS* and *LET EVERYONE WHO NAMES THE NAME OF CHRIST DEPART FROM INIQUITY*. But the fact remains, that according to the scripture, just like the branches *IN THE VINE* that were *BROKEN OFF AND CAST INTO THE FIRE*, they did at one time have some form of His life in them BUT YET THEY FAILED TO ABIDE (continue in His word). IF YOU CONTINUE IN MY WORD...THEN YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES INDEED.
SF: Does it surprise you that not all who call themselves Christians are living in sin? He, whose name is Jesus BECAUSE HE SAVED ME FROM MY SINS (NOT TO SIN!!!) has given me grace to DEPART FROM INIQUITY. You'll note that I said "Some (not all) who marvel..." What would ever make a disciple of Jesus want to justify sinning? Is there something you're not telling us?
John UK: "Oh, and can I take it you believe in penal substitution and justification by faith alone in Christ alone?"
Regarding texts... I don't feel a need to pass your judgement. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me.
However, I did post four verses a while back that should make you think about what Jesus meant when saying such things as "these believe for a while and then fall away" and (to those who BELIEVED on him) "IF you continue in my word THEN you are my disciples indeed". I haven't heard anything about these other than that I supposedly quoted them out of context.
Well, I didn't quote them out of context, and I suggested that you choose as wide a context as you deem necessary, as it will not change what he said.
The burden of proof is on those who disagree with what Jesus said in those texts to explain what they think he is saying. That said, an honest evaluation, without passing through an interpretive filter such as neo-gnosticism, will show that he meant simply what he said.
So the question really is "How can YOU square what the Lord said in Luke 8:13 and John 8:31 with John 5:24, John 6:39, John 6:44, and 1 John 5:13?"
That's what I'm asking. So far I've heard (a) Dead silence and (b) Accusations of scripture twisting.
Ches8: Coming from such a neo-gnostic your words are a virtual compliment. I'll pray that the Lord increase your understanding of the truth.
Frank: I didn't say you quoted verses out of context. That was what I was accused of.
My point is that by not being able or willing to deal with the verses I provided other than opposing with other verses (which we probably would both agree cannot really contradict) you demonstrated that you likely cannot deal with them.
Amen to your second paragraph.
You're wrong about John 3:16, you misquoted it. God was very precise in what He said that day: "...SHOULD NOT PERISH, but have eternal life."
Your mistake is assuming it's one or the other. The Bible teaches both that His true believing children WILL NOT CAN NOT perish AND that some believe for a time and fall away.
There's a way to understand it all together and it will fit beautifully for you when He opens it up for you. Just pray about it! He is good!
(The key to understanding Biblical security of God's children is found by studying Luke 8 and John 3, 5, 6, 8, and 15. Study them all together.)
To clarify: Augustine was influenced by Platonic fatalism in interpreting the Scriptures. His anti-freewill, flesh-is-inherently-evil thinking was a throwback to earlier Gnosticism. Calvin and TULIP drank the Cool-Aid and the rest is history.
So now we have a typical knee-jerk fear reaction against the fact that man is given by God the ability to repent if he so choose. Of course, this ability to obey God's commandment to repent is demonized today by neo-Gnostics who consider man being given the ability by God to obey the gospel as being "Christ+", as John UK would say.
To say that God giving to all men the ability to repent is adding to Christ is a complete lie.
Some (not all) who marvel at the saving power of the Doctrines of Grace marvel like that because they are still living in sin, so naturally they say "Why me Lord?"
To these I say, Be not deceived, God is not mocked.
John UK: I will not be baited to justify what the Lord has been teaching me for the past 27 years. You're not fit to judge me.
Michael Hranek: Thank you for your kind words, the Lord be with you and bless you as well as you submit to His word.
Frank: Thank you for your offer -- I know it's well intentioned. Trouble is I know you are not ready to give guidance on this topic as you cannot explain what seems like a contradiction to you (the verses I provided and the verses regarding eternal life) WITHOUT HAVING TO RESORT TO MAKING JESUS *NOT* SAY WHAT HE ACTUALLY *DID* SAY.
PTL, He has opened my understanding on this topic in the past year so I'm not looking for the help of man. Thanks anyway.
John UK: One word regarding calling me "Arminian": Ironic.
You have no problem labeling me without knowing anything of my background other than I've been saying here STOP FEARING MAN AND LET GOD SPEAK.
So go on believing I'm the devil's servant as someone said earlier.
BTW, You're on thin ice slandering like that. Have you never read, WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ANOTHER'S SERVANT?
Very bold of you -- I council you to learn the fear of God.
Unprofitable Servant from Georgia: Just because you say I'm quoting out of context doesn't make it so. Go ahead, I invite you to read all of those passages in as large a context as you deem necessary. It will not change what the Lord said.
I understand that you are having trouble reconciling these wonderful passages you provided from John with those I provided. I used to have trouble like this too when I was a gnostic like yourself, so I entirely understand...
The key is to submit yourself to His word -- stop fearing your dead hero and you will be teachable by Him to no longer have this trouble you have today.
God bless, pray for His guidance, repent of being a respecter of persons.
John UK from Wales: If you don't believe that people can believe on Jesus and then FALL AWAY, your argument is with the Jesus and the Bible, not anti-Gnostics such as myself.
I challenge you to HONESTLY consider the implication of:
- "for a WHILE BELIEVE, and in time of temptation FALL AWAY." (That's Jesus in Luke 8:13).
- Also, "to the Jews that BELIEVED on Him, Jesus said 'IF you CONTINUE IN MY WORD, THEN you are my disciples INDEED...'" (That's Jesus in John 8:31).
- "He THAT OVERCOMES, I will not BLOT OUT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE." (That's Jesus in Rev 3:5 -- the clear implication is those who don't overcome will be blotted out.)
- "If a man ABIDE NOT IN ME, he is cast forth as a branch...and withered...and burned". (John 15:6, Jesus)
Gnosticism has its argument with Jesus. Who are you going to believe? Jesus or Calvin? It's up to you. Thank the Lord it's not "fated" as the Gnostics teach.
AND NEVER FEAR! THE LORD *WILL* GIVE GRACE TO HIS CHILDREN TO CONTINUE TO ABIDE. JUST DON'T BE PRESUMPTUOUS!
GSTexas: Sorry, you are right. I will say though that I do respect the right of people to believe what they want as unbiblical as it might be. If you check the start of this long thread you'll see I was reacting against a hostile gnostic init
Calvinists don't like the fact that there are people out there who are not intimidated by their Gnostic/fatalist doctrines.
As much as the Calvinist tries to slander and caricature a true Biblical understanding of God and salvation, I AM NOT MOVED. The "Reformed" majority position here just evidences the word "Let God be true and every man a liar."
Just because a Gnostic duped by Augustine accuses me of not believing in grace doesn't make it so. We need to tremble at His word, not be willing to smorgasbord our doctrine, trying to explain away things that are clear that contradict our pet system. This is the sad reality for the Calvinist... Think of it: going through life trying to ignore the abundant scriptural evidence of free will, the abundant evidence that God can and does change His mind, that He is willing to save those that are willing to receive His Son. How could Calvinists miss so much obvious Bible?
ladybug: "If God spent ALL His wrath on His Son, then all would go to heaven, for there's no more wrath to be poured out - it was all spent on His Son." ==VAIN PHILOSOPHY. The BIBLE says "He that HAS THE SON HAS LIFE." "all would go to heaven"?!? NO! The BIBLE says "those who RECEIVE HIM" become children. It's easy when you lose the Gnostic thinking.