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Old 01-27-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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Hi Mike, I did read the article and it was interesting.

I had previously come to the conclusion that it is not necessarily defining free will that is the problem, it is defining the nature of mans will that poses the difficulty.

I believe the more accurate definition of the freedom of the human will is that it is "free to reason within circumstances". That is my opinion of course, and I welcome any dispute to that definition.


The ability to perform an action is dependant soley on physical circumstances, whether that be ones physical ability or the constraints of the persons surroundings. I think it is a misonception that our mental capacities are not also physical, emotions may not be defines as physical attributes perhaps, but I believe our emotions come about based upon the physical capacity of our brain which is a physical object as complicated as it may be.

We have the ability to believe you can jump to the moon by only jumping with your human legs, performing that act is another matter. We have the ability to reject Christ, defying Gods intention of drawing you to him is another matter.

However I believe the issue that is most difficult to see is how to determine how controllable our own mental state is when it comes to the ability to reason. Still, I do not believe that necessarily removes the ability to reason entirely, only the capacity in which that can occur.

Scripture seems to talk about this when it says the carnal mind is unable to be subject to the laws of God.

This I believe is why God tells us that our judgment of others will be returned to us in the same measure.


However with that said, when it comes to a biblical application, I believe that there is a problem that both sides seem to miss.

The truth of moral responsibility is overlooked by those who deny free will, and the writer makes a great point, no one I know who denies free will acts in a manner consistant with that belief.

But God also tells us that our responsibility can be different based upon those circumstances by telling us that we are to give account of our lives. Each of our lives are differet with different influences and causes and each of those influences and causes are categorized differently as the article has shown.

The other side of the issue is that while it is true deniers of free will do not act as if there is none, believers in free will can believe that their choice to profess and accept Christ is actually free from cause or influence.

The truth is that scripture tells us of the perfect influence that is present.

Man can devise a way (reason within circumstances) but God directs mans steps (that would fall in the category of the unfree act).

Some can argue that then isn't actually being free, well that is irrelevent because they are applying the incorrect nature of mans will into the equation in the first place. Even though you can reason within Gods parameters, that does not take away from the fact that Gods parameters can influence you to freely and willingly accept him.

The idea of mans volition being left alone by GOD is not only unscriptural but also I believe not quite fully believing what the character of God is capable of in a righteous manner along these lines.

I will stop there because going further will be approaching hijacking the thread possibly.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:39 PM
 
2,526 posts, read 2,319,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phazelwood View Post
Hi Mike, I did read the article and it was interesting.

I had previously come to the conclusion that it is not necessarily defining free will that is the problem, it is defining the nature of mans will that poses the difficulty.

I believe the more accurate definition of the freedom of the human will is that it is "free to reason within circumstances". That is my opinion of course, and I welcome any dispute to that definition.

The ability to perform an action is dependant soley on physical circumstances, whether that be ones physical ability or the constraints of the persons surroundings. I think it is a misonception that our mental capacities are not also physical, emotions may not be defines as physical attributes perhaps, but I believe our emotions come about based upon the physical capacity of our brain which is a physical object as complicated as it may be.

We have the ability to believe you can jump to the moon by only jumping with your human legs, performing that act is another matter. We have the ability to reject Christ, defying Gods intention of drawing you to him is another matter.

However I believe the issue that is most difficult to see is how to determine how controllable our own mental state is when it comes to the ability to reason. Still, I do not believe that necessarily removes the ability to reason entirely, only the capacity in which that can occur.

Scripture seems to talk about this when it says the carnal mind is unable to be subject to the laws of God.

This I believe is why God tells us that our judgment of others will be returned to us in the same measure.

However with that said, when it comes to a biblical application, I believe that there is a problem that both sides seem to miss.

The truth of moral responsibility is overlooked by those who deny free will, and the writer makes a great point, no one I know who denies free will acts in a manner consistant with that belief.

But God also tells us that our responsibility can be different based upon those circumstances by telling us that we are to give account of our lives. Each of our lives are differet with different influences and causes and each of those influences and causes are categorized differently as the article has shown.

The other side of the issue is that while it is true deniers of free will do not act as if there is none, believers in free will can believe that their choice to profess and accept Christ is actually free from cause or influence.

The truth is that scripture tells us of the perfect influence that is present.

Man can devise a way (reason within circumstances) but God directs mans steps (that would fall in the category of the unfree act).

Some can argue that then isn't actually being free, well that is irrelevent because they are applying the incorrect nature of mans will into the equation in the first place. Even though you can reason within Gods parameters, that does not take away from the fact that Gods parameters can influence you to freely and willingly accept him.

The idea of mans volition being left alone by GOD is not only unscriptural but also I believe not quite fully believing what the character of God is capable of in a righteous manner along these lines.

I will stop there because going further will be approaching hijacking the thread possibly.
Excellent post... You've put into words what many of us could only hope to communicate. And with such clarity.

The concept of free-will really does need to be understood within the framework of it's boundaries or "circumstances" as you've put it. And, the human will is only free to act within those boundaries until being "set free" by Jesus:

Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sciotamicks View Post
thrillobyte,

It is the other way around. God appointed His people to eternal life. They got it because they believed. Blessings.
Wrong. Do not follow this counsel, Thrillobyte. We cannot decide to believe anything . . . we can only intellectually claim to do so. What we actually believe on/into in our inner soul has nothing to do with our choice or decision.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Wrong. Do not follow this counsel, Thrillobyte. We cannot decide to believe anything . . . we can only intellectually claim to do so. What we actually believe on/into in our inner soul has nothing to do with our choice or decision.
Man is free to believe in Christ because God has first revealed Himself to man though the gospel message (Romans 10:17). God the Holy Spirit in His ministry of common grace makes the gospel perspicacious to the gospel hearer. The information concerning Christ is given. The issue concerning salvation is made clear. If the hearer is persuaded by the message then he will believe that Christ is the Son of God, that He is God incarnate, that He died for the sins of the world, and for him personally, and that He was resurrected and is currently seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Now if the hearer understands these things and does not suppress the truth, then he will trust in Christ for salvation.

At gospel hearing the Holy Spirit convicts the unbeliever of the sin of unbelief, of righteousness and of judgment. John 16:8-11.

Romans 1:18 But man can suppress the truth.

John 5:40 Man can refuse to come to Christ for salvation.

John 12:48 Man can reject Christ.

Acts 7:51 Man can resist the Holy Spirit.

And man is free to answer God's call through the gospel (2 Thess 2:14).
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Man is free to believe in Christ because God has first revealed Himself to man though the gospel message (Romans 10:17).
The natural man is NOT FREE to believe in Christ.

1Co 2:14 and the natural man doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for to him they are foolishness, and he is not able to know them, because spiritually they are discerned;

Here is what Romans 10:16 and 17 in the Greek:

Rom 10:16 αλλ ου παντες υπηκουσαν τω ευαγγελιω ησαιας γαρ λεγει κυριε τις επιστευσεν τη ακοη ημων
Rom 10:16 But they were not all obedient to the good tidings, for Isaiah saith, `Lord, who did give credence to our report?'

Rom 10:17 αρα η πιστις εξ ακοης η δε ακοη δια ρηματος θεου
Rom 10:17 so then the faith is by a report, and the report through a saying of God,

Faith does not come from hearing (translated in the NASB and KJV from the Greek word ακοης) per se, but rather as Isaiah said in verse 16 from our report (ακοη ημων). BTW, the same Greek word is being used in both verse 16 and 17. And that report brings faith to those who hear, ie: those born of God. The natural man does not hear the things of God unless first regenerated. Do you understand this concept of reformed theology?

Quote:
God the Holy Spirit in His ministry of common grace makes the gospel perspicacious to the gospel hearer.
I've heard you say this before but there is no scripture to support your idea. Conviction of unbelief is not the same as having ears that hear the Gospel with full assurance.

The word conviction in Jon 16:8 is translated from the Greek word ἐλέγχω and has this meaning:

To shame, disgrace, but only in Class. Gr. In the NT, to convict, to prove one in the wrong and thus to shame him

However, this word ἐλέγχω is not the same word used here by Paul:

1Th 1:5 because our good news did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, even as ye have known of what sort we became among you because of you,

The word assurance here is translated from the Greek word πληροφορία and means:

To have full assurance, most certain confidence

ἐλέγχω and πληροφορία are two different Greek words having two different meanings and are being used in two different contexts. To the natural man the Gospel causes shame. To the one born of God the Gospel gives full assurance of their acceptance before God.

Quote:
The information concerning Christ is given. The issue concerning salvation is made clear. If the hearer is persuaded by the message then he will believe that Christ is the Son of God, that He is God incarnate, that He died for the sins of the world, and for him personally, and that He was resurrected and is currently seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Now if the hearer understands these things and does not suppress the truth, then he will trust in Christ for salvation.
You really have no scripture to back up this Arminian concept concerning the natural man. None. Otherwise you would provide it. There is no "issue concerning salvation" or a decision to be made. The Gospel is either believed or it is not. Those who are born of God believe (1 Joh 5:1). Those who do not believe are not born of God. One does not choose by will or volition to be born of God and hear the Gospel. Regeneration is an act of God alone without any help from the will of man:

Joh 1:13 who--not of blood nor of a will of flesh, nor of a will of man but--of God were begotten.

Quote:
At gospel hearing the Holy Spirit convicts the unbeliever of the sin of unbelief, of righteousness and of judgment. John 16:8-11.
Yes, but this is not the same thing as providing full assurance to those born of God. The natural man is convicted of his sin. The reason they are convicted of sin is because they do not believe the Gospel.

Joh 16:8 and having come, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment;
Joh 16:9 concerning sin indeed, because they do not believe in me;

It is not unbelief, per se, that they are convicted of, but rather sin because they do not believe. The one born of God is given full assurance of grace and salvation and does believe. They believe their sins are forgiven. Do you see the difference here?

Quote:
Romans 1:18 But man can suppress the truth.
The natural man cannot hear the truth of the Gospel. The truth that is being suppressed in Rom 1:18 is not the Gospel, but rather the manifestation of God in creation.

Quote:
John 5:40 Man can refuse to come to Christ for salvation.
Let's read it in context:

Joh 5:38 and His word ye have not remaining in you, because whom He sent, him ye do not believe.
Joh 5:39 `Ye search the Writings, because ye think in them to have life age-during, and these are they that are testifying concerning me;
Joh 5:40 and ye do not will to come unto me, that ye may have life;

It's not as you say "man can refuse to come to Christ", but rather that they have do not will to come to Christ because they do not believe. The will must first be born of God through regeneration in order to believe and will.

Quote:
John 12:48 Man can reject Christ.
Here is that text:

Joh 12:47 and if any one may hear my sayings, and not believe, I--I do not judge him, for I came not that I might judge the world, but that I might save the world.
Joh 12:48 `He who is rejecting me, and not receiving my sayings, hath one who is judging him, the word that I spake, that will judge him in the last day,

Again, not believing causes the natural man to reject Christ. It's not that they believe the Gospel and then reject it. Quite the opposite. The do not believe and consequently reject. The natural man must first be born of God in order to hear and believe the Gospel.

Quote:
Acts 7:51 Man can resist the Holy Spirit.
The natural man always resists the Holy Spirit. Let's read it:

Act 7:51 `Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and in ears! ye do always the Holy Spirit resist; as your fathers--also ye;

Do you see that? They are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and in ears. The natural man must first have a new heart by regeneration in order to hear. Otherwise, the natural heart of stone and the closed ears will always resist the Holy Spirit.

Quote:
And man is free to answer God's call through the gospel (2 Thess 2:14).
The natural man is not free to do so. Here is that verse in context:

2Th 2:13 And we--we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, that God did choose you from the beginning to salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth,
2Th 2:14 to which He did call you through our good news, to the acquiring of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ;

It is God choosing to salvation and belief of the truth that allows one to hear the Gospel and believe. The natural man can only remain in his natural state until regenerated by God.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AlabamaStorm View Post
The natural man is NOT FREE to believe in Christ.

1Co 2:14 and the natural man doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for to him they are foolishness, and he is not able to know them, because spiritually they are discerned;

Here is what Romans 10:16 and 17 in the Greek:

Rom 10:16 αλλ ου παντες υπηκουσαν τω ευαγγελιω ησαιας γαρ λεγει κυριε τις επιστευσεν τη ακοη ημων
Rom 10:16 But they were not all obedient to the good tidings, for Isaiah saith, `Lord, who did give credence to our report?'

Rom 10:17 αρα η πιστις εξ ακοης η δε ακοη δια ρηματος θεου
Rom 10:17 so then the faith is by a report, and the report through a saying of God,

Faith does not come from hearing (translated in the NASB and KJV from the Greek word ακοης) per se, but rather as Isaiah said in verse 16 from our report (ακοη ημων). BTW, the same Greek word is being used in both verse 16 and 17. And that report brings faith to those who hear, ie: those born of God. The natural man does not hear the things of God unless first regenerated. Do you understand this concept of reformed theology?

I've heard you say this before but there is no scripture to support your idea. Conviction of unbelief is not the same as having ears that hear the Gospel with full assurance.
This is why the Holy Spirit in His ministry of common grace makes the gospel perspicacious to the unbeliever, so that he can make a choice. (John 16:8-11)

Quote:
The word conviction in Jon 16:8 is translated from the Greek word ἐλέγχω and has this meaning:

To shame, disgrace, but only in Class. Gr. In the NT, to convict, to prove one in the wrong and thus to shame him

However, this word ἐλέγχω is not the same word used here by Paul:

1Th 1:5 because our good news did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, even as ye have known of what sort we became among you because of you,

The word assurance here is translated from the Greek word πληροφορία and means:

To have full assurance, most certain confidence

ἐλέγχω and πληροφορία are two different Greek words having two different meanings and are being used in two different contexts. To the natural man the Gospel causes shame. To the one born of God the Gospel gives full assurance of their acceptance before God.

You really have no scripture to back up this Arminian concept concerning the natural man. None. Otherwise you would provide it. There is no "issue concerning salvation" or a decision to be made. The Gospel is either believed or it is not. Those who are born of God believe (1 Joh 5:1). Those who do not believe are not born of God. One does not choose by will or volition to be born of God and hear the Gospel. Regeneration is an act of God alone without any help from the will of man:

Joh 1:13 who--not of blood nor of a will of flesh, nor of a will of man but--of God were begotten.

Yes, but this is not the same thing as providing full assurance to those born of God. The natural man is convicted of his sin. The reason they are convicted of sin is because they do not believe the Gospel.

Joh 16:8 and having come, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment;
Joh 16:9 concerning sin indeed, because they do not believe in me;

It is not unbelief, per se, that they are convicted of, but rather sin because they do not believe. The one born of God is given full assurance of grace and salvation and does believe. They believe their sins are forgiven. Do you see the difference here?

The natural man cannot hear the truth of the Gospel. The truth that is being suppressed in Rom 1:18 is not the Gospel, but rather the manifestation of God in creation.

Let's read it in context:

Joh 5:38 and His word ye have not remaining in you, because whom He sent, him ye do not believe.
Joh 5:39 `Ye search the Writings, because ye think in them to have life age-during, and these are they that are testifying concerning me;
Joh 5:40 and ye do not will to come unto me, that ye may have life;

It's not as you say "man can refuse to come to Christ", but rather that they have do not will to come to Christ because they do not believe. The will must first be born of God through regeneration in order to believe and will.

Here is that text:

Joh 12:47 and if any one may hear my sayings, and not believe, I--I do not judge him, for I came not that I might judge the world, but that I might save the world.
Joh 12:48 `He who is rejecting me, and not receiving my sayings, hath one who is judging him, the word that I spake, that will judge him in the last day,

Again, not believing causes the natural man to reject Christ. It's not that they believe the Gospel and then reject it. Quite the opposite. The do not believe and consequently reject. The natural man must first be born of God in order to hear and believe the Gospel.

The natural man always resists the Holy Spirit. Let's read it:

Act 7:51 `Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and in ears! ye do always the Holy Spirit resist; as your fathers--also ye;

Do you see that? They are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and in ears. The natural man must first have a new heart by regeneration in order to hear. Otherwise, the natural heart of stone and the closed ears will always resist the Holy Spirit.

The natural man is not free to do so. Here is that verse in context:

2Th 2:13 And we--we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, that God did choose you from the beginning to salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth,
2Th 2:14 to which He did call you through our good news, to the acquiring of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ;

It is God choosing to salvation and belief of the truth that allows one to hear the Gospel and believe. The natural man can only remain in his natural state until regenerated by God.
As I said, man is free to believe in Christ BECAUSE God has first revealed Himself to man. The Holy Spirit presents the issue of salvation through the Gospel and makes it perspicacious to the unbeliever so that the unbeliever can make a choice. God calls man through the gospel (2 Thess 2:14) and man can say yes or no to that call.

Faith in Christ comes from hearing the gospel message under the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit and believing it.

Every man is a natural man before he becomes saved through faith in Christ. At the point of gospel hearing those who are persuaded by the evidence presented in the gospel under the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit believe, and those who are not persuaded by it will reject it.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
This is why the Holy Spirit in His ministry of common grace makes the gospel perspicacious to the unbeliever, so that he can make a choice. (John 16:8-11)

As I said, man is free to believe in Christ BECAUSE God has first revealed Himself to man. The Holy Spirit presents the issue of salvation through the Gospel and makes it perspicacious to the unbeliever so that the unbeliever can make a choice. God calls man through the gospel (2 Thess 2:14) and man can say yes or no to that call.

Faith in Christ comes from hearing the gospel message under the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit and believing it.

Every man is a natural man before he becomes saved through faith in Christ. At the point of gospel hearing those who are persuaded by the evidence presented in the gospel under the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit believe, and those who are not persuaded by it will reject it.
Your "common grace" understanding is not scriptural. There is no scripture to support this bizarre teaching. I freely admit that your doctrines are rooted in Arminianism that have no theological basis in scripture whatsoever. The reason you need to go to such lengths to make your case is that there is no truth in it.

This idea of the Spirit of Christ opening the heart and ears of the spiritually dead in order to give them an opportunity to make a decision for Jesus is ridiculous.

Those who have their hearts and eyes opened by the work of the Spirit (through regeneration) believe the Gospel and receive Christ through faith. And they do so with much assurance as I clearly showed in my previous post.

So far you've not been able to provide any scriptural support for your faith. Please provide scriptural proof where the unregenerate are given a new heart with spiritual eyes that see, and ears that hear, and that when acting within that condition reject Christ and the Gospel. Can you do that for me?
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlabamaStorm View Post
Your "common grace" understanding is not scriptural. There is no scripture to support this bizarre teaching. I freely admit that your doctrines are rooted in Arminianism that have no theological basis in scripture whatsoever. The reason you need to go to such lengths to make your case is that there is no truth in it

This idea of the Spirit of Christ opening the heart and ears of the spiritually dead in order to give them an opportunity to make a decision for Jesus is ridiculous.

Those who have their hearts and eyes opened by the work of the Spirit (through regeneration) believe the Gospel and receive Christ through faith. And they do so with much assurance as I clearly showed in my previous post.
So far you've not been able to provide any scriptural support for your faith. Please provide scriptural proof where the unregenerate are given a new heart with spiritual eyes that see, and ears that hear, and that when acting within that condition reject Christ and the Gospel. Can you do that for me?
I have already supplied the scripture. John 16:8-11 reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in common grace toward the unbeliever at the point of Gospel hearing.

Regeneration is synonymous with being born again. Being born again is the result of having faith in Christ through gospel hearing. You are saying that a man must be born again before he can understand the gospel, the purpose of which is to bring man to the point of believing in Christ so that He can be saved.

Calvin himself recognized the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit at the point of Gospel hearing. He recognized that the offer of salvation is made through the gospel.

''Although it is true that we obtain this through faith, yet since we see that all do not indiscriminately embrace the offer of Christ which is made by the gospel, the very nature of the case teaches us to ascend higher and inquire into the secret efficacy of the Spirit to which it is owing that we enjoy Christ and all his blessings.'' [Calvin, Book 3, Chapter 1, Section 1]

Now since you are a Calvinist, you should learn what Calvin had to say. What Calvin had to say about the matter, and what others have to say about the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit at gospel hearing can be seen at the following site; http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teachi...cles/28/28.pdf

John F. Walvoord, President and professor of sytematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986 made the following statement regarding common grace. Common grace is ''a ministry of the Holy Spirit which reveals the truth of God to man whenever given in any form...The work of the Holy Spirit in revealing the gospel to the unsaved is peculiarly a ministry of enablement to understand the way of salvation. As the Word is preached the Holy Spirit attends with power to make it known to those who are naturally blind to it and unable to comprehend it.'' [John F. Walvoord, The HolY Spirit, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pubishing House, 1958), 110, 112.
http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teachi...cles/28/28.pdf


You also fail to distinquish between common grace and efficacious grace. In common grace, the Holy Spirit makes the gospel perspicacious to the unbeliever. If the unbeliever is persuaded by the gospel and expresses faith in Christ, then the Holy Spirit in His ministry of efficacious grace carries that faith to the point of salvation. The faith is made effective for salvation.

Excerpt:
From preceding discussion it is evident that common grace falls far short of efficacious grace. While the unsaved may be led to understand the Gospel sufficiently to act intelligently upon it, common grace does not have any certain effect upon the will and does not issue certainly into salvation. Two unsaved men may understand the Gospel equally, and yet one never comes to the point of saving faith while the other trusts in Christ and is saved. Common grace must be sharply distinguished from any work of God which is efficacious in bringing the unsaved to salvation.
The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 5 The Holy Spirit in Relation to the Unsaved World | Bible.org - Worlds Largest Bible Study Site
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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Here's how I understand part of this thorny matter thus far (as I am evolving with each day I study all this):

Limited atonement IS a reality. It is readily supported in scripture--God did choose certain people (the Elect) to receive the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and to have everything needed for that salvation to be assured 100% (TULIP) by God. Now this brings up the sticky issue of what to do about the "fairness" issue of God choosing certain people and leaving the others to their own devices.

When Adam sinned in the garden, he was not condemned on the basis of exercising his so-called "free will" to commit sin. The expulsion from the garden came as a result of his learning the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. This is supported by scripture ("Behold, the man has become like Us, to know good and evil; and now lest he put forth his hand..."

The Gospel is presented to all men (let's say for the sake of discussion). Limited atonement kicks in for the Elect---they are irresistibly drawn to it through the power of the Holy Spirit in a way that the non-Elect are not. Thus, God makes perfectly sure His chosen are sealed and can never escape His election, even to killing them if they try to veer off course. This fulfills Jesus' promise, "That I should not lose one."

Now what about the unelect? Is God being unfair to them? Not at all. Which came first, the knowledge that an action is good or bad, or the decision of a man to exercise his free will to commit that bad action? Naturally it is the knowledge. Man must know that an action is wrong before he can exercise his free will to commit that wrong act which sends him to perdition. So evil men know something is wrong and then they choose to do it anyway. That is what they are condemned for---KNOWING, and then choosing. In this way God cannot be accused to being unfair because it was man's knowledge of good and evil and choosing the evil that condemned him, not his inability to make a choice for God and receive salvation---that inability resulting because He was not elected by God.

Now, whether the condemned go into "age-lasting corrective punishment" in hell or not I do not know. What I do know, based on the scriptures, is that Jesus' sheep (the Elect) are 100% guaranteed, insured, indemnified, and assured of their salvation.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
I have already supplied the scripture. John 16:8-11 reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in common grace toward the unbeliever at the point of Gospel hearing.
Yes, and I've already presented to you that the Spirits convicting of sin is not what "common grace" is. Jesus spoke of what some today refer to as "common grace" here:

Mat 5:45 that ye may be sons of your Father in the heavens, because His sun He doth cause to rise on evil and good, and He doth send rain on righteous and unrighteous.

Now, if you are to insist on using non biblical terms, then we'll need to use the definition given by Jesus above. Scripture does not use the term "common grace" within your definition, and consequently errors develop. Your explanation and definition of "common grace" is not scriptural.

Additionally, the term "offer" that you so cunningly use with your "common grace" doctrine is also not biblical. The term "offer" (used in some modern translations such as the NASB in 1 Cor 9:18) is taken from the Greek word θησω and means to "place" or "lay down". It does not mean to offer as we think of it in English or "make a decision" to accept or reject what is being proclaimed.

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Regeneration is synonymous with being born again. Being born again is the result of having faith in Christ through gospel hearing. You are saying that a man must be born again before he can understand the gospel, the purpose of which is to bring man to the point of believing in Christ so that He can be saved.
No, we've been down this road already. Regeneration means giving the sinner a new heart and spirit that will receive the proclamation (not offer) of the Gospel.

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Calvin himself recognized the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit at the point of Gospel hearing. He recognized that the offer of salvation is made through the gospel.

''Although it is true that we obtain this through faith, yet since we see that all do not indiscriminately embrace the offer of Christ which is made by the gospel, the very nature of the case teaches us to ascend higher and inquire into the secret efficacy of the Spirit to which it is owing that we enjoy Christ and all his blessings.'' [Calvin, Book 3, Chapter 1, Section 1]
Yes, there is a sense in which some speak of Calvin and the term "common grace". However, it is not in the sense that you use it. Actually, it's somewhat humorous to watch you inject Arminian definitions into Calvinistic or reformed thought and concepts. Arminian "common grace" is not reformed theology "common grace". Do a comparitive study of the two, OK?

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Now since you are a Calvinist, you should learn what Calvin had to say. What Calvin had to say about the matter, and what others have to say about the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit at gospel hearing can be seen at the following site; http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teachi...cles/28/28.pdf
You need to realize that Calvin wrote the Institutes and his commentaries in French, not English. There can be just as many translational issues with French to English as Greek to English. Also, there is some debate as to exactly what Calvin actually believed concerning the subject of "common grace" and how it related to reprobation concerning the reprobate. For the most part, all of this is documented in the historical Reformed Confessions of the 16th century, which very few reformed Churches actually hold to today. The link you provided is worthless in this regard. The reformed confessions are probably the closest you'll get on the subject of "common grace" and what it actually meant 500 years ago and how it is being used today.

You really need to become better educated on the historical thought of reformed theology before telling me what I believe and what I am, OK? ...LOL

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John F. Walvoord, President and professor of sytematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986 made the following statement regarding common grace. Common grace is ''a ministry of the Holy Spirit which reveals the truth of God to man whenever given in any form...The work of the Holy Spirit in revealing the gospel to the unsaved is peculiarly a ministry of enablement to understand the way of salvation. As the Word is preached the Holy Spirit attends with power to make it known to those who are naturally blind to it and unable to comprehend it.'' [John F. Walvoord, The HolY Spirit, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pubishing House, 1958), 110, 112.
www.spiritandtruth.org/teaching/documents/articles/28/28.pdf
The ramblings that come out of DTS do not really interest me or surprise me. That school of religious thought is like a revolving door of heretical theology that glorifies the precepts of men rather than Christ. Jesus instructed us that His Spirit would be the one to guide us into truth, not the teachings of men from a particular religious school of thought:

Joh 16:13 and when He may come--the Spirit of truth--He will guide you to all the truth, for He will not speak from Himself, but as many things as He will hear He will speak, and the coming things He will tell you;

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You also fail to distinquish between common grace and efficacious grace. In common grace, the Holy Spirit makes the gospel perspicacious to the unbeliever. If the unbeliever is persuaded by the gospel and expresses faith in Christ, then the Holy Spirit in His ministry of efficacious grace carries that faith to the point of salvation. The faith is made effective for salvation.
I would like you to show me where in scripture the Holy Spirit makes the gospel perspicacious to the unbeliever. After all, this is your definition of "common grace", and I'm unable to find it anywhere in scripture. Can you show me where the Spirit makes the gospel "perspicacious" to unbelievers who also remain in this "perspicacious" state of unbelief?

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From preceding discussion it is evident that common grace falls far short of efficacious grace. While the unsaved may be led to understand the Gospel sufficiently to act intelligently upon it, common grace does not have any certain effect upon the will and does not issue certainly into salvation. Two unsaved men may understand the Gospel equally, and yet one never comes to the point of saving faith while the other trusts in Christ and is saved. Common grace must be sharply distinguished from any work of God which is efficacious in bringing the unsaved to salvation.
The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 5 The Holy Spirit in Relation to the Unsaved World | Bible.org - Worlds Largest Bible Study Site
First, we need to settle the matter of what is "common grace" using scripture, OK? You keep pointing to Joh 16:8-9. But nowhere is grace to be found. What is found is the Greek terms ελεγξει and κρισεως. ελεγξει means to convict, shame and admonish while κρισεως means judgment. This is not how Paul referred to those who are regenerated to hear the Gospel. Look here, again:

1Th 1:5 because our good news did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, even as ye have known of what sort we became among you because of you,

Can you show me how the term "much assurance" is "common" in Joh 16:8-9? And how this assurance was rejected by those who where made perspicacious, as you put it? Give me a scripture that uses the term perspicacious. I unable to find it. Or, is this another made up fantasy that allows you to hold on to your Arminian theology of free-will?
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