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About 7cworldwide

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  1. Are our nature and ability the same now (after the fall) as Adam's (before the fall)? Please read the post and the Scripture passages I just quoted in response to Diolectic on man's will. Then you'll see just how "free" it is. Grace & Peace, Lane
  2. Hi Diolectic! With a name like that (assuming it's a reference to "dialectics"), I would have hoped to see a personal rebuttal to Reformed theology and not just a copy/paste job. But anyway... here goes... Emotional appeals... what a pitiful argument. He did get that last sentence right though. All men who are spiritually dead would really prefer to suppress their innate knowledge of God and continue in their rebellion against Him. I've discussed this in my previous two posts here... another poor, emotion-driven, unbiblical argument. Two primary reasons: 1) God said so... and 2) God uses preaching as a means for accomplishing His will. This is not a problem at all. Man plays no part in his regeneration. But everything following that (conversion, justification, etc.) is synergistic. See this discussion (I'm "xapis" on that site): http://www.graceforums.com/topic.php?id=888 Tell me Diolectic, what is the assumed ordo salutis (order of salvation) of your system? Amen. But the author you're quoting seems to be having tremendous difficulty distinguishing between the various graces involved in salvation, what they mean, what they imply, and how they come to pass. Wrong. The author does not understand Reformed theology and, therefore, is unqualified to be publishing writings on the subject. I don't mind someone disagreeing so much if they understand what their disagreeing with and why. I have a problem with someone announcing blanket "anathemas" on something about which he knows very little. It's called preaching. The author's argument has no base and, as you can now see, is an excursive in futility. The author is supporting the common error of "decisional regeneration"... see John 3:8 (as well as my previous posts in this thread). The author apparently believes that man has some measure of sovereignty over God. Is this belief biblical? Can anyone show me anything in Scripture to support such a belief? The author is desperately clinging to "free will." In doing so, he seems to lose (at least implicitly) the Creator/creature distinction. God's absolute ultimacy and absolute freedom is part and parcel to His being God. When man attributes ultimacy to man (and he does when he attributes absolute free will to himself), he reduces God and puts himself on a pedestal. If you care to see a true Christian doctrine of free will and anthropology, I suggest reading these: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/ch_IX.html http://www.gracegems.org/28/human_nature.htm Here's what the Bible (quoting the ESV, emphasis mine) says specifically on the subject of man's will and ability: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." —John 1:12-13 "as it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'" —Romans 3:10-12 "What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." —Romans 9:16 "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." —Philippians 2:12-13 How much more clear can it be? Not this one! ...nor any of the devout Calvinists whose works I read and respect greatly. The author fails to mention that some of the greatest preachers and evangelists in Christian history were Calvinists, such as George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, John Knox, etc... and John Calvin himself... to those in modern times like D. James Kennedy, R.C. Sproul, John Piper, etc. None of these men were/are ashamed of what they believe! Why not? Because they know they believe what the Bible says and there's nothing there to be ashamed of! As for this David Servant fellow, hopefully, you now see what a deceiver this man is. I'd never heard of him before and I pray he doesn't confuse too many of God's people with these lies and misconceptions. Grace & Peace, Lane
  3. Really? God has loved His elect (John 6:37) since before the foundation of the world (Rev. 17:8). We've looked at regeneration. Let's look now at adoption. Eph. 1:5 (ESV) says "he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will." What does an adopted baby "do" to become adopted? The child has no choice in the matter. But the child is nurtured and shown great love from the adoptive parents and what happens when the child matures? The child truly loves those parents who chose to adopt, love, and raise him up. Such is the case with our Sovereign Lord. "We love because he first loved us."
  4. This is a terrible analogy but I'll follow with you on it a bit. Why does the child choose the cookie over brussel sprouts? Because it's his nature to choose that which tastes better to him. Such is the case with natural man. The unregenerate man will always give way to the flesh and will never (because he CANNOT) do that which is pleasing to the perfect Lawgiver and Judge (see Romans 3). He MUST be given new life (regenerated, born again) in order to have the ability to truly repent and believe (see John 3). This is irrelevant because man is wholly unable to do so without God's grace manifested through the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. What did Lazarus "do" in order to be raised from the dead? His resuscitation was a gift, indeed. But he was dead. He could do nothing but stink! Such is the case with the spiritually dead. This statement tells me that you believe that God alone does not, moreover, cannot save. Can you show us some Scriptural support for such a belief? ...that is, of course, without confusing sanctification with regeneration, justification, adoption, etc. If "to choose" is a verb (and it is) and regeneration is contingent upon this action in order to occur then your argument is self-defeating. Decisional regeneration leaves room for boasting and is, therefore, a false teaching—a false Gospel. Grace & Peace...
  5. [sigh] Read this: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/arti...rstandings.html
  6. Have a listen at this: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/The_Whi...p?bcd=2007-8-12
  7. bhccguy, Thank you, bro!! I appreciate you taking the time to share that. Another is Wayne Grudem. I just bought his Systematic Theology and I'm really looking forward to reading what he has to say on continuationism. ...I believe J.I. Packer is on our list, too.
  8. ...and until we are regenerated we are in bondage to sin. We are only liberated in Christ!
  9. Amen, Biblicist! I would also reiterate the truth of 2 Thessalonians 2:13—"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." The logical order of God's work: 1) Election to salvation by the Father 2) The regeneration of the elect one by the Holy Spirit 3) True belief in Christ by the elect one This is God's design and we can see the work of each member of the Trinity in carrying it out. jamie—It is generally perceived that it is by the regenerate one's own free will that he/she comes to Christ. But it is actually the efficacious drawing of the Father through the Holy Spirit to Christ that brings his sheep to belief and repentance. Blessings, Lane
  10. I'm not sure where you're coming from with this Thad. But Luther certainly believed in the full sovereignty of God and in what modern Calvinists call the doctrines of grace. When Arminians speak of "free will" they are conveying their belief that man is completely autonomous in choosing his eternal destination. That's what I meant by both terms (synonymously) as I discuss this issue with an Arminian. I am a "predestinarian." Yes. All men will answer. But not all are called with the same efficacious call by which God brings his elect unto Him. We could all do better, bro. But exegesis is exegesis and Luther gets it right when it comes to the issue of the bondage of the will (to sin). Shalom,
  11. Did you read the Luther excerpt? You're close. But you must understand that He did override your will by changing you... regenerating you so that you could see! "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13, KJV). Thankfully, God does change our will. Otherwise, we'd never have any hope of seeing Heaven. Shalom,
  12. I never said people have no free will... nor would I. But to think that somehow it is by man's autonomous will that we are to enter into the Kingdom of God is wholly unbiblical. Man's fleshly will is at enmity with God and man in this state cannot please Him (cf. Rom. 8:7-8). Jeremiah writes (Jer. 17:9, KJV), "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" I have already shown from Jesus' own words that man is unable to come to Christ without first being drawn by the Father. I have presented questions to make you think about your views but you can only respond to say the Reformed view makes no sense. But does your view make sense? Honestly? Is it completely aligned with the witness of the many passages of Scripture I have presented? Calvin was a human. I am a human. You are a human. We are all fallible and finite in knowledge. All we can do is read the Bible and let the Holy Ghost teach us the mysteries of God which have been revealed to us in His Word. Mark my words. This is not about believing Calvin for I do not agree with Calvin on everything. This is about allowing ourselves to extract an honest and complete exegesis from God's revealed message to us in the holy Scriptures. That is my sole purpose... to know and to spread God's truth. Period. I can say the same thing. In fact, I have. May God bless you in it. I will not condemn you or call you a heretic for the soteriological views you espouse. I can take comfort in knowing that God has a purpose in what He sovereignly reveals to each one in His flock. Again, that's fine. I held strong Arminian views (way before I'd ever heard of Arminius) for years. It was only recently that the Holy Ghost led me in this direction in which I have come to know greater things about His sovereignty and grace. And I praise Him for it! I must say that I don't think you're being honest with yourself in saying that you have had no outside influence on your beliefs. Are you saying that your parents, grandparents, preachers, teachers, et al. have never taught you anything related to Christianity that you ended up adopting as a personal belief? Really? A humble admission... and one that I will certainly join you in. No man has a monopoly on the truth and any that will tell you he does
  13. Ahhh... you just hit on something here—"God's gift of faith." If faith is a gift, and it is, then it follows that salvation is completely of God. Even our faith is a sovereign gift. Is this how it really is with salvation though? No. It's not. The cauliflower in this analogy would be likened to Christ. The child has the ability to choose cauliflower. But man does not have the ability to "choose" Christ without first being drawn by the Father. It is God that performed that act of choosing (cf. 2 The. 2:13). This view is altogether the antithesis of Scriptural doctrine in this area of soteriology. Yes. It is the only will of the unregenerate man to reject God. Yes. This is further proving my point. ...and now the appeal to emotion. Here we have the common case of man deeming his system of justice to be greater than that of the perfect, omniscient, immutable God. I could write chapters upon chapters with biblical support on how terribly wrong this perception of the Reformed view is but I think it will suffice for now to respond with a brief question: How then would you interpret Romans 9:13-16? Perhaps you don't know the history behind the doctrines of grace and the sovereignty of God... these doctrines called "Calvinism." These doctrines are the very orthodox views of the Reformation! Martin Luther sparred openly on the free will of man with Erasmus in The Bondage of the Will. If we're going to get down to the nitty-gritty on this, it was Arminius who was guilty of regressing back to the Roman doctrines of a works-based salvation and deemed a heretic. By twisting it around and calling all Calvinists heretics, you are condemning a great number of profound Christians. To name a few: Charles H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Bunyan, John Newton (author of the hymn Amazing Grace), J.I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, John Piper... the list goes on and on. These men, true exegetical preachers and teachers, lived (and died, for those already passed) by the Reformed doctrines, knowing their full consistency with the Scriptures. I come from an Arminian background and I would never say my family and friends in that tradition are doomed to Hell due to their flawed soteriological views. Why not? Because it is God who saves, not theological views. And "heretic" is not a word to be throwing around lightly. The reader can take an honest look at the content of my last post and especially the questions presented that were not addressed and see the holes in the typical Arminian argument. The Bible does not lie nor does it contradict itself. Read for yourself, not glossing over the difficult passages, and God Himself will reveal these truths to you! Then you will begin to see just how amazing His grace really is! Thank you, jamie. May the Holy Spirit be our guide always in all things.
  14. Greetings jamie! I allowed myself to engage in the same type of eisegesis for years. Then the Spirit of God opened my eyes to some great truths. If I may show you the simple errors in this interpretation... Their will determined their predestination? Respectfully, jamie, this makes no sense. It is God who is doing the act of predestining. He did this in eternity past and it had nothing to do with any quality within those predestined. Let's follow this line of thinking to its logical terminus though. You and many others assume that God's foreknowledge of those men who by nothing but their own free will will come to Him is all that is meant by predestination. From whom did they receive their will? Was this will to come to God somehow inherent in them? God is the Creator and Designer of all. I think you will agree with that. So you would have to think that the God-given will in those who choose to accept Christ is of a greater moral capacity than that of the man who never accepts Him. So why did God give to some (and not all) a will that is more apt to accepting Him? No matter how you slice it, it always ends up back in God's court. We must take the Bible at face value on this. He determined in eternity past whom He would adopt and call His sheep. If you read the whole of Romans, the context is clear. You emphasize "those who love God." But how can a man who is depraved by his very nature love God. The unregenerate man hates the law that proceeds from God. Hence he hates God. Romans 3:11 (ESV) says "no one understands; no one seeks for God." Romans 8:7 (ESV, emphasis added) says "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot." See there. It cannot. It is wholly unable. Lest God moves into the picture to draw the man to Christ (cf. John 6:44) and change his fleshly will, there is no hope. Man cannot (and will not) come to Christ without being drawn to Him. Christ said, "no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (John 6:65, ESV). The Father chooses those whom He would efficaciously draw to Christ. The act of grace upon the elect has nothing to do with any of their human acts or attributes that were foreseen by God. It cannot be so. For if God judged solely on these things from eternity past, all mankind would be doomed to the same dreadful fate. You place emphasis on "foreknew" in Romans 8:29. First off, in this passage, it's all about whom he foreknew... not what he foreknew about them. It's personal. This point alone destroys the Arminian view of this passage. But if that's not enough, I would encourage you to read this short study which expounds on this point and more: http://www.founders.org/FJ40/article3.html When we remove tradition and the doctrines of men and take the Bible for what it says, the evidence is clear on predestination. It means what the Word of God says it means... nothing more, nothing less. May God richly bless you and may we all grow in His grace. Shalom, Lane
  15. Interesting. Thanks for your reply, CSLewis. Shalom,
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