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Old 12-26-2011, 12:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
Mike: Its a very nice post, except you're off the mark on one small detail. God chooses us and gives us the new birth and he converts us. Many texts refer to this. The way Lutheran's see it, making a decision to believe in Jesus could be considered a righteous act. In Lutheran theology, the Christian is completely passive in conversion, only after conversion does he cooperate with God. I'll note a few texts for you.
Eph 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, Eph 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions
Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

Ro 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." Ro 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Ro 9:18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden


In fact, the election or choosing in the New Testament is what God does, not man.  
 
2Th 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth

Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Hope this gives you something to chew on for a few days.
God chooses based on His foreknowlege of who would believe on Christ. No one believes because they were chosen by God. They are chosen because in eternity past God knew that they would have positive volition toward Christ in response to the Gospel.

Whereas the omniscience of God knew from eternity past every alternative to history which might have been, God's foreknowledge is concerned with the actual.

God's foreknowledge makes nothing certain but simply acknowledges what is certain. God's decree's, actually one decree which takes in all of reality makes certain what His omniscience perceived in eternity past. God knew each and every decision that man would make and therefore decreed that it certainly would take place. God's decrees merely acknowledge man's volition.

While in the mind of God it is all simultaneous, it has to be considered in logical sequence. Omniscience comes first, then the decree, and then foreknowledge. The decree is based on omniscience and foreknowledge is based on the decree.

God chose or elected believers in the sense first, that, if given volition, they would freely choose to believe on Christ; second, that He decreed that such an act would actually occur; third, that He agreed not only that their positve volition to the gospel would occur at a certain point of time but also that all the blessings of salvation including rewards given at the judgment seat of Christ would be their eternal possession (Eph 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13).

Believers were chosen from eternity past simply because God knew that they would come to Christ from their own positive volition in response to the gospel. And based on His omniscience, simply made that positive volition a certainty by including it in His divine decrees. God's decrees do not affect man's volition, but simply make certain what man decides from his own volition.

In other words, you do not believe on Christ because you were chosen, but rather, you were chosen because you believe.

God desires that all men be saved, and does not desire that anyone perish. God therefore chooses all who of their own volition come to Christ.

The church is chosen or has its own election, while Israel has its election related to the unconditional covenants or promises of God to them (the regenerate Jew).

Last edited by Mike555; 12-26-2011 at 01:07 AM..
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inahandbasket View Post
"Man must choose to believe...."

Your whole premise is based on a falsehood: no one can "choose" to believe anything. Belief is an emotion. We cannot choose our emotions, rather, emotions *choose* us. Just try it. Think of your favorite food. You did not choose to love, for example, chocolate (just an example, mind you). Think of the first time you fell in love. No one wakes up one day and declares, "Today I am going to fall in love."

So as much as you obviously, fervently *believe* in the story of Jesus, please do not turn that devotion into a *must choose* for everyone else.

Thank you.
Belief is not an emotion. It is an attitude of trust. To believe on Christ means to trust in Him for salvation. The original post contains verses showing that salvation is offered. The gospel message proclaims the good news of salvation and extends an invitation to come to Christ for salvation. It is an invitation which can be accepted or rejected. It is a matter of personal choice on the part of the gospel hearer.

Those who choose not to come to Christ for eternal salvation will spend eternity in the lake of fire separated from God meaning that they will have no relationship with God, .
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:37 AM
 
596 posts, read 639,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Belief is not an emotion. It is an attitude of trust. To believe on Christ means to trust in Him for salvation. The original post contains verses showing that salvation is offered. The gospel message proclaims the good news of salvation and extends an invitation to come to Christ for salvation. It is an invitation which can be accepted or rejected. It is a matter of personal choice on the part of the gospel hearer.

Those who choose not to come to Christ for eternal salvation will spend eternity in the lake of fire separated from God meaning that they will have no relationship with God, .
You are simply wrong. Your premise is flawed. No one chooses to believe. The problem with you fundamentalists is you have little capacity for simple reasoning and you are afraid to question. You must remain in an idea "logical" straight jacket to function. You personally feel the need to proclaim this addiction far and wide. It is, at the very least, annoying, and, when carried to its logical end, leads to atrocities like what Kim Jong Il did in North Korea.

I will not return again to this board. It was my mistake thinking I could realistically have a reasoned conversation with a fundamentalist.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Lubbock, Tx
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Mike: That's a very well worded explanation, and it makes logical sense, but you haven't got any scripture to base it on. Everything in scripture that I am aware of indicates that it is not something in us, that cause any Christian to be elected, but it is God's mercy, love, free will and choice.

Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

Eph 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, Eph 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ro 9:11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: Ro 9:12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."

When Lutheran's talk about being saved by grace alone, this is what they believe the Bible means. Man has no merit or works or anything in him that merited that God should save him or any other person. As Paul says, We are all by nature, objects of wrath. Eph 2:3
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:43 AM
 
12,899 posts, read 6,974,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inahandbasket View Post
You are simply wrong. Your premise is flawed. No one chooses to believe. The problem with you fundamentalists is you have little capacity for simple reasoning and you are afraid to question. You must remain in an idea "logical" straight jacket to function. You personally feel the need to proclaim this addiction far and wide. It is, at the very least, annoying, and, when carried to its logical end, leads to atrocities like what Kim Jong Il did in North Korea.

I will not return again to this board. It was my mistake thinking I could realistically have a reasoned conversation with a fundamentalist.
To the contrary. Believing on Christ is synomonous with coming to Christ. A person chooses to come to Christ, to believe on Christ. To put his trust in Christ. The following two verses extend the invitation to come to Christ for salvation.

Revelation 22:17 ''...And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

John 7:37 ''...If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38] He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' ''

You can also choose not to come to Christ as seen in John 5:40 'and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.

There is the choice. Come to Christ for salvation or be unwilling to come to Christ for salvation. Choose to believe on Christ or choose not to. Choose to trust Christ for life, or choose not to and remain under condemnation.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:27 AM
 
2,282 posts, read 901,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
To the contrary. Believing on Christ is synomonous with coming to Christ. A person chooses to come to Christ, to believe on Christ. To put his trust in Christ. The following two verses extend the invitation to come to Christ for salvation.

Revelation 22:17 ''...And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

John 7:37 ''...If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38] He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' ''

You can also choose not to come to Christ as seen in John 5:40 'and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.

There is the choice. Come to Christ for salvation or be unwilling to come to Christ for salvation. Choose to believe on Christ or choose not to. Choose to trust Christ for life, or choose not to and remain under condemnation.
Mike, you are right on these points. The very fact that Christ says "come to Me" is proof that He is drawing by the Spirit using those Words. Salvation is initiated by Him but many refuse.

Last edited by garya123; 12-26-2011 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit, nothing else. We can not by our own reason, intellect or chosing "make a decision for Christ" nor do we have a tendency to do so. No one person is conceived and born without a sinful mind that is spiritually not dead, nor is at best neutral toward God.
"the sinful mind is hostile toward God,...The mind of sinful man is death It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."

No one is a believer unless the Holy Spirit works faith. Pointing to oneself is exactly that ... pointing to one self !! Looking at this emphasis (that the decision theologist's make) goes against scripture which teaches:
Acts 15:11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved,
  • not by the grace God gives us to make our decision
Ephesians 2:4-5
God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved
  • a dead person can not chose to do anything for themselves... Read Ezekiel 37, ithas no "decision theology" of man... it's all God.
Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
  • faith is a gift from God ... not a gift from human's choice
2 Timothy 1:8-9
"by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time"
  • Scriptures proclaim "not because of anything we have done" .... decision theology points to what "we..or .. I MUST do"
100% credit must be given to God for our conversion, faith, remaining in the faith.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:04 AM
 
23,191 posts, read 11,396,093 times
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Choose Schmooze . . . true belief can NOT be chosen. I could NOT choose to believe before my encounter and now . . . I can not choose NOT to believe. Belief in God exists or it doesn't . . . no choosing involved . . . and there IS only ONE. The only connection with God for ANY human is through the mind of Christ, period. That is a physical reality. We either accept it and assent to the guidance of His Holy Spirit within our consciousness or we don't. Eventually we will all see the light with consequences unique to each of us.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:27 AM
 
12,899 posts, read 6,974,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
Mike: That's a very well worded explanation, and it makes logical sense, but you haven't got any scripture to base it on. Everything in scripture that I am aware of indicates that it is not something in us, that cause any Christian to be elected, but it is God's mercy, love, free will and choice.

Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

Eph 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, Eph 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ro 9:11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: Ro 9:12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."

When Lutheran's talk about being saved by grace alone, this is what they believe the Bible means. Man has no merit or works or anything in him that merited that God should save him or any other person. As Paul says, We are all by nature, objects of wrath. Eph 2:3
Indeed I do have scripture to base it on. First, Scripture reveals that God does not desire that anyone perish (2 Peter 3:9). God desires that all men be saved (1 Tim 2:4).

Those two scriptures tell you that God does not then choose for some to be saved while not choosing for others to be saved irrespective of an individuals volition.

Second, Romans 8:29 states that God predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son those who He foreknew. As mentioned, God's foreknowledge is based on the degrees of God which are based on His omniscience.

Third, Scripture makes clear that God extends the invitation to come to Christ for eternal salvation to everyone.

Revelation 22:17 ''...And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

John 7:37 ''...If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38] He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' ''

Why do you speak of merit when I already made it clear in the original post that faith is non-meritorious?

Titus 3:5 and Ephesians 2:4 are simply focusing on God's grace. You cannot ignore the many passages which speak of the fact that man must believe on Christ in order to be eternally saved. Ephesians 2:8, just 4 short verses after the verse you mentioned, says that salvation is by grace through faith.

Romans 9:11-12 must be understood in light of the fact that true Israel consists of regenerate Jews. Physical birth alone does not make a Jew a part of Israel. A Jew during the age of Israel must be born again to be a part of Israel. This held true prior to the church-age, and it will hold true when the tribulation which will be the last seven years remaining to the age of Israel commences after the church has been raptured. Romans 9:13 concerns personal election rather than the national election of Israel. God knew in eternity past that Jacob would believe the promise of the Messiah and be saved, while Esau would not.

Roman's 9:11-13; Malachi 1:2 addresses the fact that God knew in eternity past that Jacob would believe the promise of the Messiah and therefore be saved, and so chose him. Knowing that Jacob would believe and that Esau would not, God determined that the older would serve the younger. Because Jacob was regenerate and descended from Abraham and Isaac, God's line of promise would continue through him.

Verse 12 actually means that Esau's descendents, the Edomites would serve Israel (1 Samuel 14:47; 2 Sam 8:14; 1 Kings 11:15-17).

God's uses and has a purpose for those who He knew from eternity past would believe in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He had has an election for Israel, and He has an election for the church. Believers do not believe because they are elected or chosen, but rather, they are elected or chosen because they have believed.

God's purpose (Rom 8:28) in accordance with His pleasure, is to bring many sons into glory and to resolve the angelic conflict. The outworking of God's plan involves using man's volition both positive and negative to achieve His purposes. God's foreknowledge (Rom 8:29) recognizes man's volition and acknowledges what is certain as a result of God's decrees (Psalms 2:7; 148:6; Dan 9:24) which are based on His omniscience (Job 37:16).
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:44 AM
 
12,899 posts, read 6,974,942 times
Reputation: 2391
Quote:
Originally Posted by twin.spin View Post
Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit, nothing else. We can not by our own reason, intellect or chosing "make a decision for Christ" nor do we have a tendency to do so. No one person is conceived and born without a sinful mind that is spiritually not dead, nor is at best neutral toward God.
"the sinful mind is hostile toward God,...The mind of sinful man is death It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."

No one is a believer unless the Holy Spirit works faith. Pointing to oneself is exactly that ... pointing to one self !! Looking at this emphasis (that the decision theologist's make) goes against scripture which teaches:
Acts 15:11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved,
  • not by the grace God gives us to make our decision
Ephesians 2:4-5
God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved
  • a dead person can not chose to do anything for themselves... Read Ezekiel 37, ithas no "decision theology" of man... it's all God.
Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
  • faith is a gift from God ... not a gift from human's choice
2 Timothy 1:8-9
"by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time"
  • Scriptures proclaim "not because of anything we have done" .... decision theology points to what "we..or .. I MUST do"
100% credit must be given to God for our conversion, faith, remaining in the faith.
Again, the following three verses show that a decision can be made with regard to the call of God through the gospel message.

Revelation 22:17 ''...And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

John 7:37 ''...If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38] He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' ''

You can also choose not to come to Christ as seen in John 5:40 'and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.

That decision is based on an acceptance or a rejection of the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11) at the point of gospel hearing (Rom 10:11-15) by which means God calls (2 Thess 2:14) and extends the invitation (John 7:37; Rev 22:17).
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