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THE MARKS OF THE NEW BIRTH
Rnmomof7 | 9/5/01 | John Wesley

Posted on 09/05/2001 2:47:45 PM PDT by RnMomof7

THE MARKS OF THE NEW BIRTH

"So is every one that is born of the Spirit." John 3:8.

1. How is every one that is "born of the Spirit," -- that is, born again, -- born of God? What is meant by the being born again, the being born of God, or being born of the Spirit? What is implied in the being a son or a child of God, or having the Spirit of adoption? That these privileges, by the free mercy of God, are ordinarily annexed to baptism (which is thence termed by our Lord in a preceding verse, the being "born of water and of the Spirit") we know; but we would know what these privileges are: What is the new birth?

2. Perhaps it is not needful to give a definition of this, seeing the Scripture gives none. But as the question is of the deepest concern to every child of man; since, "except a man be born again," born of the Spirit, "he cannot see the kingdom of God;" I propose to lay down the marks of it in the plainest manner, just as I find them laid down in Scripture.

I. 1. The First of these, and the foundation of all the rest, is faith. So St. Paul, "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:26.) So St. John, "To them gave he power" (_exousian_, right or privilege, it might rather be translated) "to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born," when they believed, "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh," not by natural generation, "nor of the will of man," like those children adopted by men, in whom no inward change is thereby wrought, "but of God." (John 1:12,13.) And again in his General Epistle, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." (1 John 5:1.)

2. But it is not a barely notional or speculative faith that is here spoken of by the Apostles. It is not a bare assent to this proposition, Jesus is the Christ; nor indeed to all the propositions contained in our creed, or in the Old and New Testament. It is not merely an assent to any or all these credible things, as credible. To say this, were to say (which who could hear?) that the devils were born of God; for they have this faith. They, trembling, believe, both that Jesus is the Christ, and that all Scripture, having been given by inspiration of God, is true as God is true. It is not only an assent to divine truth, upon the testimony of God, or upon the evidence of miracles; for they also heard the words of his mouth, and knew him to be a faithful and true witness. They could not but receive the testimony he gave, both of himself, and of the Father which sent him. They saw likewise the mighty works which he did, and thence believed that he "came forth from God." Yet, nevertheless this faith, they are still "reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

3. For all this is no more than a dead faith. The true, living, Christian faith, which whosoever hath, is born of God, is not only an assent, an act of the understanding; but a disposition, which God hath wrought in his heart; "a sure trust and confidence in God, that, through the merits of Christ, his sins are forgiven, and he reconciled to the favor of God." This implies, that a man first renounce himself; that, in order to be "found in Christ," to be accepted through him, he totally rejects all "confidence in the flesh;" that, "having nothing to pay," having no trust in his own works or righteousness of any kind, he comes to God as a lost, miserable, self-destroyed, self-condemned, undone, helpless sinner; as one whose mouth is utterly stopped, and who is altogether "guilty before God." Such a sense of sin, (commonly called despair, by those who speak evil of the things they know not,) together with a full conviction, such as no words can express, that of Christ only cometh our salvation, and an earnest desire of that salvation, must precede a living faith, a trust in Him, who "for us paid our ransom by his death, and fulfilled the law of his life." This faith then, whereby we are born of God, is "not only a belief of all the articles of our faith, but also a true confidence of the mercy of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ."

4. An immediate and constant fruit of this faith whereby we are born of God, a fruit which can in no wise be separated from it, no, not for an hour, is power over sin; -- power over outward sin of every kind; over every evil word and work; for wheresoever the blood of Christ is thus applied, it "purgeth the conscience from dead works;" -- and over inward sin; for it purifieth the heart from every unholy desire and temper. This fruit of faith St. Paul has largely described, in the sixth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. "How shall we," saith he, "who" by faith "are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"Our old man is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." -- "Likewise, reckon ye yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign" even "in your mortal body,"but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead."For sin shall not have dominion over you. -- God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, -- but being made free," -- the plain meaning is, God be thanked that though ye were, in time past, the servants of sin, yet now -- "being free from sin, ye are become the servants of righteousness."

5. The same invaluable privilege of the sons of God is as strongly asserted by St. John; particularly with regard to the former branch of it, namely, power over outward sin. After he had been crying out, as one astonished at the depth of the riches of the goodness of God, -- "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! Beloved, now are we the sons of God: And it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is;" (1 John 3:1, etc..) -- he soon adds, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: And he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 John 3:9.) But some men will say, "True: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin habitually." Habitually! Whence is that? I read it not. It is not written in the Book. God plainly saith, "He doth not commit sin;" and thou addest, habitually! Who art thou that mendest the oracles of God? -- that "addest to the words of this book?" Beware, I beseech thee, lest God "add to thee all the plagues that are written therein!" especially when the comment thou addest is such as quite swallows up the text: So that by this _methodeia planEs_, artful method of deceiving, the precious promise is utterly lost; by this _kybeia anthrOpOn_, tricking and shuffling of men, the word of God is made of none effect. O beware, thou that thus takest from the words of this book, that, taking away the whole meaning and spirit from them, leavest only what may indeed be termed a dead letter, lest God take away thy part out of the book of life!

6. Suffer we the Apostle to interpret his own words, by the whole tenor of his discourse. In the fifth verse of this chapter, he had said, "Ye know that he," Christ, "was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin." What is the inference he draws from this? "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him." (1 John 3:6.) To his enforcement of this important doctrine, he premises an highly necessary caution: "Little children, let no man deceive you;" (1 John 3:7;) for many will endeavor so to do; to persuade you that you may be unrighteous, that you may commit sin, and yet be children of God! "He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." Then follows, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: And he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this," adds the Apostle, "the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil." By this plain mark (the committing or not committing sin) are they distinguished from each other. To the same effect are those words in his fifth chapter, "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." (1 John 3:18.)

7. Another fruit of this living faith is peace. For, "being justified by faith," having all our sins blotted out, "we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 5:1.) This indeed our Lord himself, the night before his death, solemnly bequeathed to all his followers: "Peace," saith he, "I leave with you;" (you who "believe in God," and "believe also in me;") "my peace I give unto you:"Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27.) And again, "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace." (John 16:33.) This is that "peace of God which passeth all understanding," that serenity of soul which it hath not entered into the heart of a natural man to conceive, and which it is not possible for even the spiritual man to utter. And it is a peace which all the powers of earth and hell are unable to take from him. Waves and storms beat upon it, but they shake it not; for it is founded upon a rock. It keepeth the hearts and minds of the children of God, at all times and in all places. Whether they are in ease or in pain, in sickness or health, in abundance or want, they are happy in God. In every state they have learned to be content, yea, to give thanks unto God through Christ Jesus; being well assured that "whatever is, is best," because it is His will concerning them: So that in all the vicissitudes of life their "heart standeth fast, believing in the Lord."

II. 1. A Second scriptural mark of those who are born of God, is hope. Thus St. Peter, speaking to all the children of God who were then scattered abroad, saith, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope." (1 Peter 1:3.) _elpida zOsan_, a lively or living hope, saith the Apostle; because there is also a dead hope, as well as a dead faith; a hope which is not from God, but from the enemy of God and man; -- as evidently appears by its fruits; for, as it is the offspring of pride, so it is the parent of every evil word and work; whereas, every man that hath in him this living hope, is "holy as He that calleth him is holy:" Every man that can truly say to his brethren in Christ, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and we shall see him as he is,"purifieth himself, even as He is pure."

2. This hope implies, First, the testimony of our own spirit or conscience, that we walk "in simplicity and godly sincerity;" Secondly, the testimony of the Spirit of God, "bearing witness with," or to, "our spirit, that we are the children of God," "and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."

3. Let us well observe what is here taught us by God himself, touching this glorious privilege of his children. Who is it that is here said to bear witness? Not our spirit only, but another; even the Spirit of God: He it is who "beareth witness with our spirit." What is it he beareth witness of? "That we are the children of God,"and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;" (Rom. 8:16, 17;) "if so be that we suffer with him," if we deny ourselves, if we take up our cross daily, if we cheerfully endure persecution or reproach for his sake, "that we may also be glorified together." And in whom doth the Spirit of God bear this witness? In all who are the children of God. By this very argument does the Apostle prove, in the preceding verses, that they are so: "As many," saith he, "as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father!" It follows, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." (8:14-16.)

4. The variation of the phrase in the fifteenth verse is worthy our observation: "Ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father!" Ye, as many as are the sons of God, have, in virtue of your sonship, received that selfsame Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father: We, the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, (for so the word may not improperly be understood,) we, through whom you have believed, the "ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God." As we and you have one Lord, so we have one Spirit: As we have one faith, so we have one hope also. We and you are sealed with one "Spirit of promise," the earnest of your and of our inheritance: The same Spirit bearing witness with your and with our spirit, "that we are the children of God." (Rom. 8:14-16).

5. And thus is the Scripture fulfilled, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." For it is easy to believe, that though sorrow may precede this witness of God's Spirit with our spirit; (indeed must, in some degree, while we groan under fear, and a sense of the wrath of God abiding on us;) yet, as soon as any man feeleth it in himself, his "sorrow is turned into joy." Whatever his pain may have been before; yet, as soon as that "hour is come, he remembereth the anguish no more, for joy" that he is born of God. It may be, many of you have now sorrow, because you are "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel;" because you are conscious to yourselves that you have not this Spirit; that you are "without hope and without God in the world." But when the Comforter is come, "then your heart shall rejoice;" yea, "your joy shall be full," and "that joy no man taketh from you." (John 16:22.) "We joy in God," will ye say, "through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement;"by whom we have access into this grace," this state of grace, of favor, or reconciliation with God, "wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Rom. 5:2.) "Ye," saith St. Peter, whom God hath "begotten again unto a lively hope, are kept by the power of God unto salvation: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith may be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ: In whom, though now ye see him not, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." (1 Peter 1:5, etc..) Unspeakable indeed! It is not for the tongue of man to describe this joy in the Holy Ghost. It is "the hidden manna, which no man knoweth, save he that receiveth it." But this we know, it not only remains, but overflows, in the depth of affliction. "Are the comforts of God small" with his children, when all earthly comforts fail? Not so. But when sufferings most abound, the comforts of his Spirit do much more abound; insomuch that the sons of God "laugh at destruction when it cometh;" at want, pain, hell, and the grave; as knowing Him who "hath the keys of death and hell," and will shortly "cast them into the bottomless pit;" as hearing even now the great voice out of heaven, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:3, 4.)

III. 1. A Third scriptural mark of those who are born of God, and the greatest of all, is love; even "the love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto them." (Rom. 5:5.) "Because they are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son in their hearts, crying, Abba, Father!" (Gal. 4:6.) By this Spirit, continually looking up to God as their reconciled and loving Father, they cry to him for their daily bread, for all things needful, whether for their souls or bodies. They continually pour out their hearts before him, knowing "they have the petitions which they ask of him." (1 John 5:15.) Their delight is in him. He is the joy of their heart; their "shield," and their "exceeding great reward." The desire of their soul is toward him; it is their "meat and drink to do his will;" and they are "satisfied as with marrow and fatness, while their mouth praiseth him with joyful lips." (Psalm 63:5.)

2. And, in this sense also, "every one who loveth him that begat, loveth him that is begotten of him." (1 John 5:1.) His spirit rejoiceth in God his Savior. He "loveth the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." He is so "joined unto the Lord," as to be one spirit. His soul hangeth upon Him, and chooseth Him as altogether lovely, "the chiefest among ten thousand." He knoweth, he feeleth what that means, "My Beloved is mine, and I am his." (Song 2:16.) "Thou art fairer than the children of men; full of grace are thy lips, because God hath anointed thee for ever!" (Psalm 45:2.)

3. The necessary fruit of this love of God is the love of our neighbor; of every soul which God hath made; not excepting our enemies; not excepting those who are now "despitefully using and persecuting us;" -- a love whereby we love every man as ourselves; as we love our own souls. Nay, our Lord has expressed it still more strongly, teaching us to "love one another even as He hath loved us." Accordingly, the commandment written in the hearts of all those that love God, is no other than this, "As I have loved you, so love ye one another." Now, "herein perceive we the love of God, in that he laid down his life for us." (1 John 3:16.) "We ought," then, as the Apostle justly infers, "to lay down our lives for the brethren." If we feel ourselves ready to do this, then do we truly love our neighbor. Then "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we" thus "love the brethren." (1 John 3:14.) "Hereby know we" that we are born of God, that we "dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his" loving "Spirit." (1 John 4:13.) For "love is of God; and every one that" thus "loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." (1 John 4:7.)

4. But some may possibly ask, "Does not the Apostle say, 'This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments?'" (1 John 5:3.) Yea, and this is the love of our neighbor also, in the same sense as it is the love of God. But what would you infer from hence? that the keeping the outward commandments is all that is implied in loving God with all your heart, with all your mind, and soul, and strength, and in loving your neighbor as yourself? that the love of God is not an affection of the soul, but merely an outward service? and that the love of our neighbor is not a disposition of heart, but barely a course of outward works? To mention so wild an interpretation of the Apostle's words, is sufficiently to confute it. The plain indisputable meaning of that text is, -- this is the sign or proof of the love of God, of our keeping the first and great commandment, to keep the rest of his commandments. For true love, if it be once shed abroad in our heart, will constrain us so to do; since, whosoever loves God with all his heart, cannot but serve him with all his strength.

5. A Second fruit then of the love of God (so far as it can be distinguished from it) is universal obedience to him we love, and conformity to his will; obedience to all the commands of God, internal and external; obedience of the heart and of the life; in every temper, and in all manner of conversation. And one of the tempers most obviously implied herein, is, the being "zealous of good works;" the hungering and thirsting to do good, in every possible kind, unto all men; the rejoicing to "spend and be spent for them," for every child of man; not looking for any recompence in this world, but only in the resurrection of the just.

IV. 1. Thus have I plainly laid down those marks of the new birth which I find laid down in Scripture. Thus doth God himself answer that weighty question, What is it to be born of God? Such, if the appeal be made to the oracles of God, is "every one that is born of the Spirit." This it is, in the judgment of the Spirit of God, to be a son or a child of God: It is, so to believe in God, through Christ, as "not to commit sin," and to enjoy at all times, and in all places, that "peace of God which passeth all understanding." It is, so to hope in God through the Son of his love, as to have not only the "testimony of a good conscience," but also the Spirit of God "bearing witness with your spirits, that ye are the children of God;" whence cannot but spring the rejoicing in Him, through whom ye "have received the atonement." It is, so to love God, who hath thus loved you, as you never did love any creature: So that ye are constrained to love all men as yourselves; with a love not only ever burning in your hearts, but flaming out in all your actions and conversations, and making your whole life one "labor of love," one continued obedience to those commands, "Be ye merciful, as God is merciful;"Be ye holy, as I the Lord am holy:"Be ye perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

2. Who then are ye that are thus born of God? Ye "know the things which are given to you of God." Ye well know that ye are the children of God, and "can assure your hearts before him." And every one of you who has observed these words cannot but feel, and know of a truth, whether at this hour, (answer to God, and not to man!) you are thus a child of God or no. The question is not, what you was made in baptism; (do not evade;) but, What are you now? Is the Spirit of adoption now in your heart? To your own heart let the appeal be made. I ask not, whether you was born of water and of the Spirit; but are you now the temple of the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in you? I allow you was "circumcised with the circumcision of Christ;" (as St. Paul emphatically terms baptism;) but does the Spirit of Christ and of glory now rest upon you? Else "your circumcision is become uncircumcision."

3 . Say not then in your heart, "I was once baptized, therefore I am now a child of God." Alas, that consequence will by no means hold. How many are the baptized gluttons and drunkards, the baptized liars and common swearers, the baptized railers and evil-speakers, the baptized whoremongers, thieves, extortioners? What think you? Are these now the children of God? Verily, I say unto you, whosoever you are, unto whom any one of the preceding characters belongs, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the works of your father ye do." Unto you I call, in the name of Him whom you crucify afresh, and in his words to your circumcised predecessors, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

4. How, indeed, except ye be born again! For ye are now dead in trespasses and sins. To say, then, that ye cannot be born again, that there is no new birth but in baptism, is to seal you all under damnation, to consign you to hell, without help, without hope. And perhaps some may think this just and right. In their zeal for the Lord of hosts, they may say, "Yea, cut off the sinners, the Amalekites! Let these Gibeonites be utterly destroyed! They deserve no less." No; nor I, nor you. Mine and your desert, as well as theirs, is hell; and it is mere mercy, free, undeserved mercy, that we are not now in unquenchable fire. You will say, "But we are washed;" we were born again "of water and of the Spirit." So were they: This, therefore, hinders not at all, but that ye may now be even as they. Know ye not, that "what is highly esteemed of men is an abomination in the sight of God?" Come forth, ye "saints of the world," ye that are honored of men, and see who will cast the first stone at them, at these wretches not fit to live upon the earth, these common harlots, adulterers, murderers. Only learn ye first what that meaneth, "He that hateth his brother is a murderer." (1 John 3:15.) "He that looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt. 5:28.) "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" (James 4:4.)

5. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye" also "must be born again."Except ye" also "be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom of God." Lean no more on the staff of that broken reed, that ye were born again in baptism. Who denies that ye were then made children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven? But, nevertheless this, ye are now children of the devil. Therefore ye must be born again. And let not Satan put it into your heart to cavil at a word, when the thing is clear. Ye have heard what are the marks of the children of God: All ye who have them not on your souls, baptized or unbaptized, must needs receive them, or without doubt ye will perish everlastingly. And if ye have been baptized, your only hope is this, -- that those who were made the children of God by baptism, but are now the children of the devil, may yet again receive "power to become the sons of God;" that they may receive again what they have lost, even the "Spirit of adoption, crying in their hearts, Abba, Father!"

Amen, Lord Jesus! May every one who prepareth his heart yet again to seek thy face, receive again that Spirit of adoption, and cry out, "Abba, Father!" Let him now again have power so to believe in thy name as to become a child of God; as to know and feel he hath "redemption in thy blood, even the forgiveness of sins;" and that he "cannot commit sin, because he is born of God." Let him be now "begotten again unto a living hope," so as to "purify himself as thou art pure;" and "because he is a son," let the Spirit of love and of glory rest upon him, cleansing him "from all filthiness of flesh and spirit," and teaching him to "perfect holiness in the fear of God!"


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On the Trinity

Be Blessed!

1 posted on 09/05/2001 2:47:45 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Jude24,fortheDeclaration,P-Marlowe,George W. Bush,Uriel1975
Bump
2 posted on 09/05/2001 2:51:37 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: drot, the_doc,Alas, Mark17, CCWoody,spudgin,Jefferson Adams
BUMP
3 posted on 09/05/2001 2:53:55 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Jerry_M, Matchett-PI,firechaser,lockeliberty
Bump..did I forget anyone? If I did would you bump them..Tonight is church and I need to go soon!

God bless each of you!

4 posted on 09/05/2001 2:56:47 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
Hey Mom, did you read my other post about that book store? I did check into it, but did not find Larkin or Spencer. I did not check to see if Bullinger or IDE Thomas were there, but I will do that directly.
5 posted on 09/05/2001 3:13:38 PM PDT by Mark17
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To: the_doc,TO ALL LURKERS
All of the statements below are YOUR HALFTRUTHS AND LIES

You can't even begin to refute our reading of John 6 or Romans 9 or Hebrews 10:14.

You just ignore everything we say. It's not as though you have reasonable counterarguments, because you definitely don't.

you flatly refuse to believe John 6 or Romans 9. You won't even discuss them intelligently.

You have no explanation for John 6:37, 39, and 44 or Romans 9. The Calvinistic position is correct. but You can ignore it, it won't change the Truth. So, ignoring it is dangerous. Why don't you deal with this problem?

And John 6 is perhaps the most staggering example of your contempt for sound doctrine. Verses 37, 39, and 44, taken together, utterly destroy everything in your Wesleyan/Arminian theology. This is why you IGNORE THE PASSAGE and why you IGNORE OUR WARNINGS about THAT.

A real bunch of RUBBISH if fact PURE RUBBISH

I would like everybody to take a look at what is below. Then ask if this qualifies as ignoring John 6. Then ask is this a REASONABLE ATTEMPT TO REFUTE THE CALVINIST READING OF JOHN 6. Then ask is this AN ATTEMPT TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM.

Then take note of the HYPOCRITE'S words

but You can ignore it, it won't change the Truth. So, ignoring it is dangerous.

WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH WHAT IS BELOW ? OR EVEN BETTER WHAT COULD HE DO WITH IT ?

In your 68 you state something very interesting

John 6 is perhaps the most staggering example of your contempt for sound doctrine. Verses 37, 39, and 44, taken together, utterly destroy everything in your Wesleyan/Arminian theology

I find it most interesting YOU STOP AT VERSE 44. if you read 45

"For it is written in the prophets: And THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD EVERY ONE EVERYONE THAT HATH HEARD OF THE FATHER and hath learned, COMETH TO ME."

That kinda pulls the rug out from under YOUR THEOLOGY, It is no wonder you CONVENIENTLY STOP at verse 44

Regards

don

84 Posted on 09/04/2001 14:59:14 PDT by

Please take notice that though there has been 97 more posts on that thread with many of the references that were stated at the beginning of this one included in that 97.

BUT 84 recieved the NORMAL TREATMENT "IT WAS IGNORED" But note the statements above saying that NO RESPONSE TOOK PLACE. WHAT ARE THEY ?

Regards

don 

6 posted on 09/05/2001 4:56:52 PM PDT by drot
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To: RnMomof7
thanks for new thread
7 posted on 09/05/2001 7:00:51 PM PDT by jude24
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To: jude24
You are welcome jude!
8 posted on 09/05/2001 7:03:35 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: drot
Just to stir the pot-- a friend at school sent me this link. His dad (a pastor) made these notes up earlier, and posted them on the web. its 97 pages from a very calvinist viewpoint, but i'm gonna review them tonite. Free Will and Election

--TJM

9 posted on 09/05/2001 7:08:29 PM PDT by jude24
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To: Uriel1975, RnMomof7 & drot
If you do your in BIG TROUBLE as He has said somethings you either don't know or don't want to know - drot

Checkers is a fun game, don't you think, Uriel? BTW, I'll flag you when I get my post together for RnMom. You'll like what else I have to say about checkers.

10 posted on 09/05/2001 7:25:59 PM PDT by CCWoody
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To: CCWoody
Woody....can I refer you to Gal.1:10?

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Worry about God not Uriel:>))

11 posted on 09/05/2001 7:30:40 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
Worry about God not Uriel:>))

I bet you didn't know that I often put secret notes of praise & thanksgiving to my God in the posts I write. Did you catch the one in that post? Do you know what it meant?

12 posted on 09/05/2001 7:49:49 PM PDT by CCWoody
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To: drot
Nope. You are not honestly facing anything in the texts which I cited.

Your appeal to v.45 of John 6 means nothing. Verses 37, 39, and 45 destroy your anti-Reformation theology.

13 posted on 09/05/2001 9:38:09 PM PDT by the_doc
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To: fortheDeclaration, jude24, Matchett-PI, andysandmikesmom
[The is a repost from the end of the previous thread.]

To the_doc-anyone who can read English can see that 9-11 is parenthetical

It deals with Israel and her rejection and her future reacceptance.

Quit obscuring the point. Anyone who can read English can see that Romans 9 is talking about salvation and damnation in the entire chapter. Look at how the chapter starts. Look at how it concludes. Look at how the next chapter starts. QED, bubba.

***

In the beginning of Chapter 9, Paul is pointing out how much his kinsmen in the chosen nation of Israel had in the way of privileges as the professed people of God.

But notice that Paul is specifically lamenting the fact that these privileges did not save most of them. This is the point about which Paul is concerned. And it is the subject of the entire chapter. Notice what he says along these very lines. He comes up with a real shocker in v.6. He says that God had not intended to save most of them. This is obvious in v.6 in two ways. First of all, Paul is saying in v.6 that the Word of God did not fail to accomplish its purposes in the national of Israel.

(See also Isaiah 55:11. God's Word NEVER really fails. What appear to us to be failures on the part of the Word are not failures after all. Surprisingly enough, God is not trying to save everyone. Why does this surprise folks? It is because they do not understand the dilemma inherent in the free offer of the gospel. The free offer is sincere, but when unregenerate sinners exercise their free will, they don't come to Christ. Period. [The problem is, they won't repent.]

This oddly free refusal to accept the free offer of the gospel is the point of the parable of the feast in Luke 14. It is also the point of John 6:37, 39, and 44.

This horrible mess which fallen sinners are in is why we Calvinists have tirelessly pointed out to Christians and unspiritual scoffers on this thread that regeneration has to precede saving faith--not the other way around [as is ordinarily taught by careless theologians in our day].)

Back to the argument of Romans 9, I will reiterate that Paul is flatly declaring that God's Word had not failed to accomplish its purposes in national Israel. This is not a matter of interpretation, friend. This is an explicit statement in the text. You need to deal with it. And if you ever manage to deal with it honestly, you will have the entire doctrine of predestination confronting you.

Study it for a while if you can even stand to admit that you are wrong. (Most people on this forum can do no such thing, by the way.)

So, God's Word succeeded in establishing national Israel with all of its theocratic privileges. But the God of predestination was not trying to convert everyone in Israel--which is the sense in which the Word of God did not fail. And it is the very thing Paul is concerned to discuss. Paul finds solace in the decidedly awful, majestic will of His Sovereign God.

Paul elucidates this doctrine of God's will, of God's utterly sovereign, unstoppable purposes of salvation and damnation, in another thing which he says in v.6. He says that not all who were of Israel were Israel. He is telling us that there was an Israel within an Israel. This Biblical-theological oddity ultimately tells us that the theocratic election of Israel as a nation was an Old Covenant type for the soteriologic election of those who are chosen unto salvation.

This second body is the second Israel Paul talks about in v.6. It is related, BTW, to what Peter says in 1 Peter 2:9 when he refers to the saved as comprising a royal priesthood and holy nation. (Peter is borrowing the idea of literal Israel and applying it figuratively to the Church, which functions as a metaphorical nation with its King in Heaven.)

Now, the idea of being chosen is the main idea inherent in Israel, as far as Paul is concerned. But Paul is clearly telling us that it is possible to be chosen in the national sense and not chosen in the spiritual sense. It is possible to be in the first Israel and to miss the second Israel.

This is exactly what the Lord Jesus is telling us in John 10 concerning what He calls His sheep. Most Jews assumed, based on the Old Testament figures of the "sheep," that being in national Israel made them members of that flock which would surely be saved. But Jesus shocked them with the new revelation in John 10 that there is another election, i.e., another idea of Israel. And even if God had a theocratic flock, the flock which the Lord Jesus would serve as the Good Shepherd involves an altogether different election!

The net result of what the Lord was saying in John 10 is that it establishes the peculiar situation of an Israel within Israel. It tells us that some Jews were elect unto salvation, whereas many (actually, most) were not elect unto salvation. Those who were elect unto salvation were the Lord's true sheep in His special role as the Good Shepherd.

This is why we have the odd logic in John 10:26. Notice that it is presenting the reverse of what Wesleyan/Arminians want it to say. Faith doesn't get a sinner elected. Election is what actually guarantees that he will receive the supernatural gift of faith.

What I am saying, in case you did not notice, is that John 10:26 utterly destroys the Weseleyan/Arminian notion that God elects based on His precognition of a sinner's faith. According to the Lord's Own logic, election is the ultimate cause of the sinner's faith, not the result of his faith. John 6 also rules out the Wesleyan/Arminian position--very emphatically so.

(The Wesleyan/Arminian theologian does not understand what God's foreknowledge really is. It is a planning faculty, not mere precognition. God envisions a people of faith, and He makes that scenario happen.)

John 10:26 is telling us is that a non-elect sinner will never be morally able to believe the gospel. Intellectual apprehensions aside, his moral wickedness will seal his unbelief. He hates the Truth. He has no Truth-receptors in his soul--precisely because he is unregenerate. He has a nature of unbelief, of hatred for the Truths of his Creator. He will not believe the gospel. He will not come to Christ even when invited. (See again John 6:37, 39, and 44.)

But he may very well profess faith in Christ. That's different.

I would point out that reprobates confronted with the awful Truth of God's utter sovereignty in election and reprobation will just complain that if predestination is true, then the free offer of the gospel is a lie! They're wrong, of course. The Bible teaches both true predestination and a true free offer gospel. If folks can't grasp this in a believing way, that's too bad. They'd better quit calling God a liar. (But a reprobate will not stop calling God a liar--not in this life, anyway. So, when God throws him into hell forever, he gets precisely what he deserves. [He wouldn't stop calling God a liar, so God won't stop punishing him.])

***

As an aside, I would point out that the spiritual election which forms spiritual Israel is bigger than the election of national Israel. Spiritual Israel includes some Jews but a great many Gentiles. The Lord Jesus makes this point in John 10 when He says "Other sheep have I, and they are not of this fold. And there shall be one fold and One Shepherd." He is telling us that He intended to go out and secure the salvation of elect Gentiles and bring them into the Body of the saved, into the one fold of His True Church, the fold in which there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile.

When you start putting all of this together, the doctrines of election and reprobation are actually pretty easy. The Apostle Paul already had the material which we have in the form of John 10. He understood the election of grace. And he understood that being in the first Israel meant nothing in the way of salvation. And Paul noticed the very strange sovereignty of God in His dealings with the descendants of Abraham. He noticed that God continually exercised His sovereign prerogatives in chosing one descendant and rejecting another.

Jacob and Esau were the very best example of this. They were chosen to head two different nations, but Paul uses the very sovereignty of God's choosing to illustrate the soteriological point which he has been concerned to address from the very beginning of Chapter 9.

As Calvin pointed out, God's choice of one nation over another is emblematic of His sovereignty in spiritual election and spiritual non-election. Paul is definitely keying on this very point to illustrate what he was talking about in vv.1-6. Although it is true that Esau was the head of the nation of the Edomites, Paul was keying on the fact that Esau, a physical descendant of Abraham himself, was reprobate. And Esau was an individual. Reprobation is just as personal as salvation and damnation are. Esau was damned by the sovereign Creator Who owed him nothing anyway.

This is also why Paul goes on to talk about the reprobation of Pharaoh. Pharaoh was also an individual.

***

This stuff ain't hard. Romans 9 is obviously talking about salvation and damnation, and these are matters which go all the way down to the level of individuals. Some individuals within Paul's own physical nation were saved--because God saved them individually--but most of the individuals within Judaism were not saved. God simply left them in their unregenerate state. And He did this by the very design of His plan of self-glorification in election and reprobation.

He picks one individual and rejects another. He is the Potter making sovereign decisions with the clay of fallen humanity.

So, if you don't think this God is very glorious, maybe you need to realize that He's not all that impressed with you. Maybe you haven't given sufficient thought to the matter of sin. It is a lot worse than most people realize. (The Wesleyans are the worst I have ever encountered in their dullness concerning the horror of sin. But the easy-believism types who are ruining today's dispensational movement are not much better, IMO.)

Again, this is pretty easy, pretty clear doctrine. As I said in a humorous comment to jude24, I have the distinct advantage of defending the correct theological position. Some of the clearest passages in the Bible support me. And Romans 9 is one of the clearest of all.

On the other hand, it is impossible to embrace what Paul was saying in Romans 9 if you are determined to defy the Calvinistic position. Gosh, Paul was a Calvinist.

If you continue to argue this point by scoffing at me--as you have done incessantly up until this point--I will just start laughing at you. Your scoffing has gone on for too long already. You don't know whereof you speak, and thus far, you have been far too proud to admit that.

You really need to straighten up. And you need to quit trashing the Reformers. They were correct when they said that the issue which we are discussing was the most important issue of the entire Reformation. And even if no one else on FR is inclined to laugh at you, I don't care. I will have God Himself laughing with me (Psalm 2:4).

A sinner doesn't have to be a Calvinist to be saved. But then again, it's not a real good idea to scoff at predestinarian doctrine when God decides to make an issue of it with you in His providence. The Truth is more important in this regard than most people realize, and the modern apostasy from sound doctrine--which started in a big way with none other than John Wesley--is a pretty scary mess. (Wesley actually taught his followers to be "loving" folks, but he simultaneously taught them to hate many, many important Truths. Something awful was going on with that fellow. And I see it in his followers.)

I don't claim to have infallible discernment as to who is saved and who is lost. But I will say that I am presenting a God Whom most professing Christians in our day don't really know any more than the lost Jews knew Him in Paul's day. And that's not an accident, either.

You need to be sure your God is the God of Romans 9. He's the real God.

14 posted on 09/05/2001 9:53:42 PM PDT by the_doc
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To: the_doc
NOPE Nothing but halftruths and pure rubbish. The same old broken record of pride and arrongance. And again nothing but doc's opinion. And he does think he is infallable All one has to do is read his words.

Regards

don

15 posted on 09/06/2001 2:19:00 AM PDT by drot
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To: the_doc
In your no 14 you make the following statement

"Study it for a while if you can even stand to admit that you are wrong. (Most people on this forum can do no such thing, by the way.)

I would so much like to call your attention to this remark especially.

"and to admit that you are wrong. (Most people on this forum can do no such thing, by the way.)"

In the last TWO YEARS on this fourm To the best of my knowledge and let the RECORD SPEAK FOR ITS SELF I have NEVER SEEN NOR CAN I RECALL A PLACE WHERE DOC HAS EVER ADMITTED TO BEING WRONG !!! IT HAS ALLWAYS BEEN THE OTHER GUY.

This ought to tell you something !!

The TRUTH will always come out

regards

don

16 posted on 09/06/2001 2:35:44 AM PDT by drot
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To: the_doc
I couldnt disagree more with the assertion that Romans 9 is parenthetical. It most certainly is not. (Going from memory, analytical chem in 30 min):

Romans 8 concludes by saying our confidence is in the God who justified and the Christ who died in our place, such that nothing could separate us from him. Romans 9 is crucial to this-- can we trust God, given how Israel is in unbelief? So the purpose of this chapter is to vindicate God's dealings with Israel.

17 posted on 09/06/2001 4:24:59 AM PDT by jude24
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To: the_doc,TO ALL LURKERS
gain in your 14 You state the following

What I am saying, in case you did not notice, is that John 10:26 utterly destroys the Weseleyan/Arminian notion that God elects based on His precognition of a sinner's faith. According to the Lord's Own logic, election is the ultimate cause of the sinner's faith, not the result of his faith. John 6 also rules out the Wesleyan/Arminian position--very emphatically so.

Again some of doc's OWN OPINIONS And just as arrogant and full of pride in himself as usual.

Lets consider John 10:24--26

"John 10:24-27

First we must consider what the words of v. 24 imply.

But the problem all along had not been the problem of clarity about who Jesus really was. He gave evidence in the many miracles He had performed,and this would point to with even a clear answer In fact one would just have given them more ammunition which would have spurred them on even more in the area of thier hostility. One can read the words quite plainly

My sheep listen to my voice; I known them and they follow me (10:27)

At his point it becomes quite easy to conclude that the choice to accept Jesus lies outside of the individual's power. Right off I want to agree with the fact that only those who are allready in the flock can hear Jesus voice and follow

So then the critical question is

How does one BECOME A MEMBER OF THE FLOCK ?

The answer to all of this has been given back in that FAMOUS chapter John 6 in Jesus earlier examination of thier unbelief. (John 6:43--45) It was quite plain that He taught that NO ONE could come unto Him unless the Father draws them. Here too it would appear like HUMAN WILL and belief has NOT a role to play. But in the very NEXT breath Jesus says this

"EVERYONE WHO LISTENS TO THE FATHER AND LEARNS FROM HIM COMES UNTO ME"

Stout words indeed. For Jesus was not preaching Absolute Election or Predestination He was saying that the acceptance or rejection to listen and learn from the Father depended upon a persons willingness. Their exclusion from being of the flock depended upon thier choice or willingness to listen and learn of the Father.

A very important point needs to be made at this point. That is we have not been talking about a spiritual approach to God. Just a willingness to listen and learn of God. While man is spiritually dead and cannot approach or please God in any way. He can have the knowledge of a existence of God.

Now the Calvinist WILL tell you that natural man wants nothing to do with God. This is not totaly true. For in Rom 1:19 In reading on you see the awfull picture of sinful man becoming REPROBATE But please note something. Paul in describing the fallen state of man in Rom 3 uses the word ALL But in Rom 1 he uses the word THEY This denotes that NOT ALL are doing this or he would have used that word.

Now lets look at what these people were doing in Romans 1.

In every case above you can notice a CHOICE to refuse to learn about God. The Calvinist will very quickly quote Rom 3:11 to you

" There is none that UNDERSTANDETH God, there is none that SEEKETH after God"

But take note there is not a mention of the fact they can not LEARN about God when the chance is given. This chance comes in the form of His Word and the preaching of it. Sure they can reject this knowledge just as the Jews did in John 10. But there is an equall chance they can learn and be drawn to Jesus in doing so.

God bless

don

18 posted on 09/06/2001 4:27:46 AM PDT by drot
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To: TO ALL
In my last post I overlooked something very very important I stated

"But there is an equall chance they can learn and be drawn to Jesus in doing so."

I would like to add. The choice is man's to make. But this is ONLY because of God's LOVE and GRACE that is extended to EVERY MAN

Be blessed

don

19 posted on 09/06/2001 4:32:55 AM PDT by drot
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To: jude24

Just to stir the pot-- a friend at school sent me this link. His dad (a pastor) made these notes up earlier, and posted them on the web. its 97 pages from a very calvinist viewpoint, but i'm gonna review them tonite. Free Will and Election (Election.PDF)

Wow! What a superb lesson plan. My own Sunday school teacher is very good but I would love to sit in this Walt Svarczkopf's class. What an outstanding series of thirteen lessons! It's very sound and orthodox from the Calvinist (i.e. scriptural) view. A very mild drawback is the sparse use of a font which they did not include in the PDF but that doesn't detract at all from the lessons.

Thanks. I'm going to keep this one. I'd recommend it to all those who post here as it contains a very nice discussion of all the topics we discuss here endlessly including God's hatred (generally and also toward Jacob/Esau) and double predestination and man's free will vs. God's predestination.

I would have to say that the only drawback is that it just doesn't contain enough insults and condemnation to be suitable for extended quotes here at FR. You should convey to the author that if he wants to be a real Calvinist, he's just got to tell more people they're ignorant and damned. That's what works best. If he needs some pointers, you can invite him here.

20 posted on 09/06/2001 6:19:58 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: All
I haven't had much time to participate lately, but keep me BUMPED. Thanks.
21 posted on 09/06/2001 6:27:29 AM PDT by Jerry_M
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To: George W. Bush
I would have to say that the only drawback is that it just doesn't contain enough insults and condemnation to be suitable for extended quotes here at FR. You should convey to the author that if he wants to be a real Calvinist, he's just got to tell more people they're ignorant and damned. That's what works best. If he needs some pointers, you can invite him here.

GW...the best humor has its base in truth! Thanks for a laugh before my 1st coffee!

Did you try my link?

22 posted on 09/06/2001 6:44:24 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Jerry_M
Miss ya Jerry..will keep you bumped
23 posted on 09/06/2001 6:45:10 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
Howz everything Rn?
24 posted on 09/06/2001 6:47:39 AM PDT by Mr. K
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To: RnMomof7, jude24
Sorry to intrude on your Marks Of The New Birth topic but I just exported this from the PDF, reformatted in Word and then edited it in HTML. It's something in the free-will vs. predestination argument that I don't think anyone has ever presented before. Just an outstanding sample of Walt Svarczkopf's teaching work. Thanks again, jude24, for this PDF document. I hope some of the Arminians/Wesleyans will take some time to examine it.

Verse

Who God Wills to Save

How God Wills to Save

All

Some

N/A

Free Will

Election

N/A

Ezekiel 33:11

9

3

1

12

 

 

Matthew 7:21

 

7

4

3

3

4

Matthew 12:50

2

7

1

7

3

2

Matthew 18:14

10

2

 

1

8

5

John 1:13

 

6

3

 

13

 

John 3:8

 

10

3

 

9

3

John 3:16-17

11

1

 

9

 

 

John 5:21

 

11

1

 

13

 

John 6:38-40

 

6

4

3

6

1

Acts 22:14

 

8

4

1

8

1

Galatians 1:4

1

4

5

 

9

2

Ephesians 1:5-11

1

11

 

1

13

 

1 Timothy 2:4

13

 

 

3

5

4

2 Peter 3:9

13

 

 

7

3

1

Revelation 22:17

2

5

4

8

3

 

Totals

62

81

31

54

96

23


So, Wesleyans, how do you answer this evidence for the preponderance of the teaching of election over the teaching of free will?
25 posted on 09/06/2001 6:59:48 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: jude24, the_doc
#17: "..nothing could separate us from him"

Notice that little word "us"?

Does this "us" include anyone whom God doesn't draw/drag to Jesus to give him/her *His* "saving faith"?

Jesus: "NONE can come to me unless my Father draws (drags) him ......"

26 posted on 09/06/2001 7:05:03 AM PDT by Matchett-PI ("Whosoever will" means "Whosoever is dragged". :))
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"...We identified the following general trends in the chart above?
Sorry. Forgot the explanation of the columns: N/A=Not Accomplished.
27 posted on 09/06/2001 7:06:57 AM PDT by George W. Bush (oops)
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To: Mr. K
pretty good..I havent forgot to pray :>)) hope everything is being resolved!
28 posted on 09/06/2001 9:18:37 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
Did you try my link? If you mean the one to CBD, yes. The prices really are very good and the selection is broad. I noted they offer a complete Spurgeon collection (70 some volumes) and a complete Calvin collection, both on CDROM. I'm more tempted toward those. However, I think I might get the $30 updated CCEL.org CDROM first. The new version will be out in October. It has Calvin's commentaries and a lot of other really good material on it. The price is pretty hard to beat when you start looking at some of these pricey Christian CDROMs.

Since you mentioned the Commentaries, I thought I'd post a bit more from Calvin on that verse. I hadn't bothered before but thought that a few Calvinists and Wesleyans around here are sorely in need of understanding more fully exactly what Calvin found in Hebrews 10. I think Calvin and the Reformation scholars had it right. The Westminster Confession is very much in agreement with this.

APPENDIX K 2
Chapter 10:14. He hath perfected, etc. The word simply means to complete, to finish, to perfect; and it depends on the context what that completion or perfection means. To perfect the sanctified or the expiated, or those atoned for, was completely to free them from the imputation of sin, to make them fully clear from guilt, or in other words, fully to take away their sins, which was never done by the sacrifices of the law, verse 11. This is the point here handled. Stuart gives the real meaning by the following free translation, -- "By one offering, then, he hath fully accomplished for ever what was needed by those for whom expiation is (was) made."

The perfecting "for ever" by one offering in this verse, proves that "for ever," [Greek text omitted], in verse 12, is to be connected with the offering of one sacrifice, and not with the sitting on God's right hand; the verse may be thus rendered, --

12. "But he, having offered one sacrifice for sins for perpetuity, (or, according to Beza and Stuart, 'one perpetual sacrifice for sins,') sat down on the right hand of God, henceforth waiting until his enemies be made his footstool."

Some copies have [Greek text omitted] -- "he;" and some, [Greek text omitted] -- "this." If the latter be adopted, it ought not to be rendered "this man," but "this priest," such being the word used before. As one sacrifice is opposed to many sacrifices, so a perpetual sacrifice, that is, a sacrifice perpetually efficacious, is opposed to those sacrifices which were often made.


By comparison, Wesley's Notes say of 10:14 the following, a meager offering but still pretty orthodox:

Verse 14. He hath perfected them for ever - That is, has done all that was needful in order to their full reconciliation with God.
Calvin: home run   Wesley: bunted

29 posted on 09/06/2001 10:01:48 AM PDT by George W. Bush (Wesley's stinginess did not merit a color table)
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To: drot, jude24, Matchett-PI
Not a very convincing response, I notice.

But I was correct. Most churchgoers in our day are not born again. Think about that.

The mess the Pharisees were in is presented in the Bible as a spiritual warning to us. They hated Jesus' message, one of the most important elements of which was that the majority of the professed followers of Jehovah were no more regenerate than my dog.

And Paul is telling us in Romans 9 that this was no accident.

30 posted on 09/06/2001 11:13:36 AM PDT by the_doc
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To: the_doc, drot
but You can ignore it, it won't change the Truth. So, ignoring it is dangerous.

From a Calvinist's viewpoint, why? How does this statement have any meaning to a Calvinist? We are either Elect, or reprobate--correct? If we are Elect, we WILL go to heaven--OTOH if we are reprobate, we WILL go to hell. There is nothing we can do about it. So--

Why is it dangerous?

31 posted on 09/06/2001 11:34:20 AM PDT by ShadowAce
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To: the_doc
Your post 30 Just proves what I said about you NEVER BEING WRONG at least in your sight.

It doesn't deserve the time it takes to reply it is so LIMP

regards

don

32 posted on 09/06/2001 12:15:49 PM PDT by drot
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To: George W. Bush
(Wesley's stinginess did not merit a color table)

Naw but he did have a crown to throw at Gods feet *grin*

Did you ever look it up in Adam Clarke? He is on God rules .com site...much more indepth than Wesley and readible.

thanks for the table..

33 posted on 09/06/2001 1:22:32 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: the_doc cc: RnMomof7, jude24, fortheDeclaration, drot, Calvinists
I am glad you are moving away from RnMom and beginning to focus on others. That is good news for her, but the others need to be forewarned that you will very soon be every bit as nasty with them.

You have been quite predatory with RnMom. (I refer to On the Trinity post #4, #21, #67, #130, 184, etc., and that is just on the previous thread.) You are demanding complete control over her mind in religious matters, with the alternative being eternity in hell if she refuses. This goes far beyond "contending earnestly for the faith", far beyond the "foolishness of preaching", and far beyond trying to win souls to Christ, far into forbidden territory.

You call her a heretic, a false teacher. That is a dime-a-dozen everyday accusation around here from your fellow Calvinists, but buried in the midst of your long, malevolent posts it appears to carry a much heavier connotation. It wasn't so many centuries ago that evil men were burning at the stake those they charged with heresy, trying to enforce their orthodoxy through terror. Thankfully no one can use such means in this free country, so long as our freedoms are protected from abusive government and illegal individual acts, but you are nonetheless earnestly trying to enforce your orthodoxy, hoping to make God -- or rather the idolatrous god of the Calvinists, and the prospect of eternity in hell, your enforcer.

The other Calvinists posting here need to have enough discernment to know the difference between the preaching of the Gospel and predatory mind-control behavior. What is mind-control over the Internet if not this? They need to think about the need to discipline their leader when he gets way out of line. The Democrats needed to discipline their leader -- remove him from office -- and wouldn't.

Sometimes it is the medical professionals, the caregivers, who are the last to realize that they are in need of professional help.

Please, doc, do your best to convince RnMom, and the others, to their satisfaction, that you are not in the mind-control business. You can start by letting others know that they can disagree with you without accusations, attacks, and heavy warnings of eternal damnation. As you exhort all to come to Christ, tell the truth about those who already have, and acknowledge their devotion and commitment in faith to Him, even though you disagree with them on matters of doctrine.

Your #30: the majority of the professed followers of Jehovah were no more regenerate than my dog

You mean dogs don't go to heaven? :-)

30 I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.
31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul. (Psalm 109:30-31)

34 posted on 09/06/2001 2:07:25 PM PDT by White Mountain
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To: RnMomof7, George W. Bush
"Did you ever look it up in Adam Clarke? He is on God rules .com site...much more indepth than Wesley and readible.

Adam Clarke? Believe it or not, I actually have a very old set of his commentaries. They were given to me along with a very old and worn set of Matthew Henry's Commentary. On a side note......I have the Works of John Wesley as well. Sadly, as has been pointed out on these threads, the guy hated Calvinism! (i.e., the absolute sovereignty of GOD).

I will, however, have to agree with Misteh Spudgin.....uhhhh......Mr. Spurgeon, when he stated that Clarke was a dangerous, Arminian (Pelagian), "twister of the Word."

35 posted on 09/06/2001 2:14:16 PM PDT by spudgin
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To: spudgin
You know what spudgin?. Every cult refuses to read the literature or doctrine of other faiths..because they fear that their's can not stand the light of scruitny.

I will read the work of Wesley,Clarke,Finny,McGee,McArthur,Gill,Calvin..etc...with out fear.

You know spudgin truth isn't determined by how loud it is shouted..

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

36 posted on 09/06/2001 2:24:57 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: drot, RnMomof7, jude24, Alas, Matchett-PI
So then the critical question is:

How does one BECOME A MEMBER OF THE FLOCK ?

The problem is, your very question is completely ignoring the obvious point of John 10:26 and also ignoring the obvious implications of John 10:16.

***

Since you think John 6:45 trumps everything I have shown you, I will start there.

The folks whom the Lord Jesus addressed in John 10:26 would not NOT LISTEN to the Father and would NOT LEARN from Him in the crucially important way of BELIEVING. Hearing with one's natural ears doesn't count for anything. The sinner has to listen and learn.

And according to 1 Corinthians 2 and 3, the person who does not even have the Spirit of regeneration will do NEITHER. The sinner needs to have his soul fully engaged in the Spiritual reception of what is merely coming into his ears and bouncing around in his spiritual empty head! Apart from the regenerating work of the Spirit--implanting Truth receptors in the soul--the gospel message saves no one at all. (Any sinner who has experienced God's startling work of regeneration should immediately realize that this ability to listen with a fully engaged soul is supernatural, not natural.)

My point, again, is that the folks whom the Lord was addressing in John 10:26 would NOT listen and learn in this crucially important way. And the Lord Jesus is telling them the reason WHY they would NOT listen and learn in this way of believing into and through the Doorway Who is Christ.

He is telling them that they were not chosen unto salvation in the first place.

This is why they experienced no legitimately regenerating power attending the message. The Lord is presenting the important matter of theological cause and effect. The Lord is ultimately telling them why they would NEVER listen and learn from God.

(Sounds like most of my Wesleyan/Arminian friends, unfortunately. Maybe some of them are just struggling in carnality, but many of them haven't even gotten to first base in the Spirit of regeneration. This would certainly explain why they can't understand Romans 9, John 6, Hebrews 10:14, Acts 13:48, or 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 or a zillion other passages in the Bible which they don't like. I'm afraid that they have no Truth receptors. And by the very nature of the Satanic mess they are in, they don't even KNOW that they don't. Their religiosity fools them. Their vain use of the name Jesus fools them. They definitely need to sober up--somehow, some way.)

Notice how blunt this confrontation by the Lord Jesus was. It was not the Lord's completely typical approach to soteriological controversy, but He decided to be blunt in John 10:26. It was not for the good of His addressees--because nothing was going to do them any good!--but it is instructive for us. (At least, it is for me!)

Now, I realize that you are trying to imply that the addressees in John 10:26 would have become sheep by believing. Well, this would be true except for the fact that it is impossible for a non-sheep to believe the gospel. (They won't listen to God for real. You just haven't ever fully understood this. You just haven't come to grips with how bad, how incapacitating sin is.)

Oddly enough, the impossibility of a non-sheep believing the gospel is obvious even if we accept the Wesleyan/Arminian theory of election.

Why? Because the sheep in John 10 are not the saved. The sheep to whom the Lord is referring are the elect. That's different, and the difference is important. If you will so much as concede that the sheep are elect sinners rather than necessarily saved sinners, even your Wesleyan/Arminian theology cries out against the idea of a non-elect sinner being saved through true faith. (This is impossible by anyone's definition of election.)

Hold that thought for a moment.

Back to John 10:26, we definitely need to notice that the reason why the folks to whom He was speaking didn't believe the gospel is because they were not His sheep.

Everything in your theology screams out that they were not His sheep because they did not believe. But that is not the logic which Christ is presenting. You will twist His words to your peril.

You see, although there is a very real sense in which believing the gospel in a saving way does reveal a person as elect, it does not newly constitute him as elect. It saves him--and that is important!--but it doesn't secure for him the status of elect. He was already elect.

To use the language of John 10, believing the gospel may very well be said to reveal a person as one of the Lord's sheep, but it doesn't newly constitute him as a sheep. He was already a sheep.

So, John 10:26 is actually explaining John 6:45.

Now, when you go back to John 6:37, 39, and 44, you will be forced to read it without stupidly misreading v.45 in an effort to overthrow everything vv.37, 39, and 44 are OBVIOUSLY saying.

John 6:37-45, in other words, is presenting the Calvinist doctrines of TOTAL DEPRAVITY, UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION, IRRESISTIBLE GRACE, AND THE PRESERVATION/PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS. The only point which is missing--concerning the extent of the Atonement--is established elsewhere in Scripture, but it was beside the point of what the Lord was saying in John 6:37-45. (What He was saying was quite heavy enough for His audience without adding an even more mysterious doctrine!)

***

Now, let's go back to the point which we put on hold. I am referring here to the idea that the sheep in John 10 are God's elect, not God's saved.

God has a spiritually elect people, what is known elsewhere in Scriptural as a [spiritual] "Israel"--not to be confused with the literal, national Israel (see Romans 9:6 for Paul's reference to both of these "Israels").

And these elect sinners have been in His heart from before the foundation of the world. So, when we move from eternity into time itself, these sinners lost in the Fall are "like sheep [who] have gone astray" (see Isaiah 53, of course!). Gone astray? When?

I just told you. The elect went astray in the Fall.

Now, considered as sheep (Isaiah 53 again), the elect have to be found and brought into the fold of salvation. Election is not salvation. They have to be sought out and brought to God.

According to everything we know about the Good Shepherd, He has to go find them with the gospel message.

This is why the Lord said in John 10:16 "Other sheep have I and they are not of this fold. And there shall be one fold and One Shepherd."

The Lord is clearly talking about elect Gentiles. They were not even saved--since the Gospel had not yet broken out of the confines of Judea to evangelize the Gentiles--and yet they were already sheep.

So, it all hangs together beautifully. John 10:26 is merely the pivotal verse.

Notice also that inasmuch as the sheep are a metaphor for God's elect in John 10, then the doctrine of eternal security is obviously true. Therefore, the Wesleyan/Arminian "reading" of 10:28 is bunk, too.

And everything I have shown you in this post fits Romans 9 to a tee. Paul was obviously an absolute predestinarian.

Therefore, a reasonable, teachable student of God's Word should conclude that your entire theology is EVIL TRASH.

***

I realize that this is blunt. But you really need to look at John 10:26 again. It makes mincemeat of everything in your theology. And it also reveals that the Lord Jesus was pretty blunt on occasion. (For an even more blunt confrontation, see John 8:30f--another thoroughly Calvinistic passage.)

Furthermore, Paul was pretty blunt in Romans 9. Arminians hate Romans 9, and Paul doesn't seem to care that they do. By warning them concnerning Pharaoh, he is actually warning them concerning Pharaoh. {I love these fonts!)

37 posted on 09/06/2001 2:30:49 PM PDT by the_doc
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To: White Mountain, the_doc
WM, you are a Mormon, sir!

Absolutely, no truly discerning Christian, will put any spiritual stock, so to speak, in anything that you say about the Bible or spiritual matters.

I am not trying to be unfriendly with you, but you had better repent of your idolatrous religion! In fact, we(Christians) tell you that because like the Apostle, we are debtors, not because we desire to be unfriendly.

The least you could do is to quit parading yourself as a Christian. You are not! Mormonism is an altogether different religion.

I am aware of Satan's devices, though!

Historical Christianity, as has been defined for 2,000 yrs, authoritatively by Scripture, (and yes, Creeds and Confessions, as representations of what Scripture teaches, to keep the wolves out), is the completion of Judaism....... the fulfillment of long awaited promises by GOD, even from the beginning (Gen 3:15). Therefore, Christianity is not some kind of new "religion."

Mormonism, defined by Christian standards, is a bona fide cult.

38 posted on 09/06/2001 2:41:39 PM PDT by spudgin
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To: spudgin
It is easy to condemn..this has been posted before but you may have missed it

ON THE DEATH OF THE REV. MR. GEORGE WHITEFIELD

Preached at the Chapel in Tottenham-Court Road and at the Tabernacle, near Moorfields, on Sunday, November 18, 1770.

"Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!" Num. 23:10.

1. "Let my last end be like his!" How many of you join in this wish? Perhaps there are few of you who do not, even in this numerous congregation! And O that this wish may rest upon your minds! -- that it may not die away till your souls also are lodged "where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest!"

2. An elaborate exposition of the text will not be expected on this occasion. It would detain you too long from the sadly- pleasing thought of your beloved brother, friend, and pastor; yea, and father too: for how many are here whom he hath "begotten in the Lord!" Will it not, then, be more suitable to your inclinations, as well as to this solemnity, directly to speak of this man of God, whom you have so often heard speaking in this place? -- the end of whose conversation ye know, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." And may we not,

I. Observe a few particulars of his life and death?

II. Take some view of his character? and,

III. Inquire how we may improve this awful providence, his sudden removal from us?

1. We may, in the first place, observe a few particulars of his life and death. He was born at Gloucester, in December, 1714, and put to a grammar-school there, when about twelve years old. When he was seventeen, he began to be seriously religious, and served God to the best of his knowledge. About eighteen he removed to the University, and was admitted at Pembroke College in Oxford; and about a year after he became acquainted with the Methodists (so called), whom from that time he loved as his own soul.

2. By them he was convinced that we "must be born again," or outward religion will profit us nothing. He joined with them in fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays; in visiting the sick and the prisoners; and in gathering up the very fragments of time, that no moment might be lost: and he changed the course of his studies; reading chiefly such books as entered into the heart of religion, and led directly to an experimental knowledge of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

3. He was soon tried as with fire. Not only his reputation was lost, and some of his dearest friends forsook him; but he was exercised with inward trials, and those of the severest kind. Many nights he lay sleepless upon his bed; many days, prostrate on the ground. But after he had groaned several months under "the spirit of bondage," God was pleased to remove the heavy load, by giving him "the Spirit of adoption;" enabling him through a living faith, to lay hold on "the Son of His Love."

4. However, it was thought needful, for the recovery of his health, which was much impaired, that he should go into the country. He accordingly went to Gloucester, where God enabled him to awaken several young persons. These soon formed themselves into a little society, and were some of the first- fruits of his labor. Shortly after, he began to read, twice or thrice a week, to some poor people in the town; and every day to read to and pray with the prisoners in the county jail.

5. Being now about twenty-one years of age, he was solicited to enter into holy orders. Of this he was greatly afraid, being deeply sensible of his own insufficiency. But the Bishop himself sending for him, and telling him, "Though I had purposed to ordain none under three-and-twenty, yet I will ordain you whenever you come" -- and several other providential circumstances concurring -- he submitted, and was ordained on Trinity Sunday, 1736. The next Sunday he preached to a crowded auditory, in the church wherein he was baptized. The week following he returned to Oxford, and took his Bachelor's degree: and he was now fully employed; the care of the prisoners and the poor lying chiefly on him.

39 posted on 09/06/2001 2:46:58 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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6. But it was not long before he was invited to London, to serve the cure of a friend going into the country. He continued there two months, lodging in the Tower, reading prayers in the chapel twice a week, catechizing and preaching once, beside visiting the soldiers in the barracks and the infirmary. He also read prayers every evening at Wapping chapel, and preached at Ludgate prison every Tuesday. While he was here, letters came from his friends in Georgia, which made him long to go and help them: but not seeing his call clear, at the appointed time he returned to his little charge at Oxford, where several youths met daily at his room, to build up each other in their most holy faith.

7. But he was quickly called from hence again, to supply the cure of Dummer, in Hampshire. Here he read prayers twice a day; early in the morning, and in the evening after the people came from work. He also daily catechized the children, and visited from house to house. He now divided the day into three parts, allotting eight hours for sleep and meals, eight for study and retirement, and eight for reading prayers, catechizing, and visiting the people. Is there a more excellent way for a servant of Christ and His Church? If not, who will "go and do likewise?"

8. Yet his mind still ran on going abroad; and being now fully convinced he was called of God thereto, he set all things in order, and, in January, 1737, went down to take leave of his friends in Gloucester. It was in this journey that God began to bless his ministry in an uncommon manner. Wherever he preached, amazing multitudes of hearers flocked together, in Gloucester, in Stonehouse, in Bath, in Bristol; so that the heat of the churches was scarce supportable: and the impressions made on the minds of many were no less extraordinary. After his return to London, while he was detained by General Oglethorpe, from week to week, and from month to month, it pleased God to bless his word still more. And he was indefatigable in his labor: generally on Sunday he preached four times, to exceeding large auditories; beside reading prayers twice or thrice, and walking to and fro often ten or twelve miles.

9. On December 28 he left London. It was on the 29th that he first preached without notes. December 30, he went on board; but it was above a month before they cleared the land. One happy effect of their very slow passage he mentions in April following: "Blessed be God, we now live very comfortably in the great cabin. We talk of little else but God and Christ; and scarce a word is heard among us when together, but what has reference to our fall in the first, and our new birth in the Second, Adam." It seems, likewise, to have been a peculiar providence, that he should spend a little time at Gibraltar; where both citizens and soldiers, high and low, young and old, acknowledged the day of their visitation.

10. From Sunday, May 7, 1738, till the latter end of August following, he "made full proof of his ministry" in Georgia, particularly at Savannah: he read prayers and expounded twice a day, and visited the sick daily. On Sunday he expounded at five in the morning; at ten read prayers and preached, and at three in the afternoon; and at seven in the evening expounded the Church Catechism. How much easier is it for our brethren in the ministry, either in England, Scotland, or Ireland, to find fault: with such a laborer in our Lord's vineyard, than to tread in his steps!

11. It was now that he observed the deplorable condition of many children here; and that God put into his heart the first thought of founding an Orphan-house, for which he determined to raise contributions in England, if God should give him a safe return thither. In December following, he did return to London; and on Sunday, January 14, 1739, he was ordained priest at Christ Church, Oxford. The next day he came to London again; and on Sunday, the 21st, preached twice. But though the churches were large, and crowded exceedingly, yet many hundreds stood in the churchyard, and hundreds more returned home. This put him upon the first thought of preaching in the open air. But when he mentioned it to some of his friends, they judged it to be mere madness: so he did not carry it into execution till after he, had left London. It was on Wednesday, February 21, that, finding all the church doors to be shut in Bristol (beside, that no church was able to contain one half of the congregation), at three in the afternoon he went to Kingswood, and preached abroad to near two thousand people. On Friday he preached there to four or five thousand; and on Sunday to, it was supposed, ten thousand! The number continually increased all the time he stayed at Bristol; and a flame of holy love was kindled, which will not easily be put out. The same was afterwards kindled in various parts of Wales, of Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire. Indeed, wherever he went, God abundantly confirmed the word of his messenger.

12. On Sunday, April 29, he preached the first time in Moorfields, and on Kennington Common; and the thousands of hearers were as quiet as they could have been in a church. Being again detained in England from month to month, he made little excursions into several counties, and received the contributions of willing multitudes for an Orphan-house in Georgia. The embargo which was now laid on the shipping gave him leisure for more journeys through various parts of England, for which many will have reason to bless God to all eternity. At length, on August 14, he embarked: but he did not land in Pennsylvania till October 30. Afterwards he went through Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, New York, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina; preaching all along to immense congregations, with full as great effect as in England. On January 10, 1740, he arrived at Savannah.

13. January 29, he added three desolate orphans to near twenty which he had in his house before. The next day he laid out the ground for the house, about ten miles from Savannah. February 11, he took in four orphans more; and set out for Frederica, in order to fetch the orphans that were in the southern parts of the colony. In his return he fixed a school, both for children and grown persons, at Darien, and took four orphans thence. March 25, he laid the first stone of the Orphan-house; to which, with great propriety, he gave the name of Bethesda; a work for which the children yet unborn shall praise the Lord. He had now about forty orphans, so that there was near a hundred mouths to be fed daily. But he was "careful for nothing," casting his care on Him who feed the young ravens that call upon Him.

14. In April he made another tour through Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, and New York. Incredible multitudes flocked to hear, among whom were abundance of Negroes. In all places the greater part of the hearers were affected to an amazing degree. Many were deeply convinced of their lost state, many truly converted to God. In some places, thousands cried out aloud; many as in the agonies of death; most were drowned in tears; some turned pale as death; others were wringing their hands; others lying on the ground; others sinking into the arms of their friends; almost all lifting up their eyes, and calling for mercy.

40 posted on 09/06/2001 2:47:11 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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15. He returned to Savannah, June 5. The next evening, during the public service, the whole congregation, young and old, were dissolved in tears: after service, several of the parishioners, and all his family, particularly the little children, returned home crying along the street, and some could not help praying aloud. The groans and cries of the children continued all night, and great part of the next day.

16. In August he set out again, and through various provinces came to Boston. While he was here, and in the neighboring places, he was extremely weak in body: yet the multitudes of hearers were so great, and the effects wrought on them so astonishing, as the oldest men then alive in the town had never seen before. The same power attended his preaching at New York, particularly on Sunday, November 2: almost as soon as he began, crying, weeping, and wailing were to be heard on every side. Many sunk down to the ground, cut to the heart; and many were filled with divine comfort. Toward the close of his journey he made this reflection: "It is the seventy-fifth day since I arrived at Rhode Island, exceeding weak in body; yet God has enabled me to preach an hundred and seventy-five times in public, besides exhorting frequently in private! Never did God vouchsafe me greater comforts: never did I perform my journeys with less fatigue, or see such a continuance of the divine presence in the congregations to whom I preached." In December he returned to Savannah, and in the March following arrived in England.

17. You may easily observe, that the preceding account is chiefly extracted from his own journals, which, for their artless and unaffected simplicity, may vie with any writings of the kind. And how exact a specimen is this of his labors both in Europe and America, for the honor of his beloved Master, during the thirty years that followed, as well as of the uninterrupted shower of blessings wherewith God was pleased to succeed his labors! Is it not much to be mourned, that anything should have prevented his continuing this account, till at least near the time when he was called by his Lord to enjoy the fruit of his labor? If he has left any papers of this kind, and his friends account me worthy of the honor, it would be my glory and joy to methodize, transcribe, and prepare them for the public view.

18. A particular account of the last scene of his life is thus given by a gentleman of Boston: --

"After being about a month with us in Boston and its vicinity, and preaching every day, he went to Old York; preached on Thursday, September 27, there; proceeded to Portsmouth, and preached there on Friday. On Saturday morning he set out for Boston; but before he came to Newbury, where he had engaged to preach the next morning, he was importuned to preach by the way. The house not being large enough to contain the people, he preached in an open field. But having been infirm for several weeks, this so exhausted his strength, that when he came to Newbury he could not get out of the ferry-boat without the help of two men. In the evening, however, he recovered his spirits, and appeared with his usual cheerfulness. He went to his chamber at nine, his fixed time, which no company could divert him from, and slept better than he had done for some weeks before. He rose at four in the morning, September 30, and went into his closet; and his companion observed he was unusually long in private. He left his closet, returned to his companion, threw himself on the bed, and lay about ten minutes. Then he fell upon his knees, and prayed most fervently to God that if it was consistent with His will, he might that day finish his Master's work. He then desired his man to call Mr. Parsons, the clergyman, at whose house he was; but, in a minute, before Mr. Parsons could reach him, died, without a sigh or groan. On the news of his death, six gentlemen set out for Newbury, in order to bring his remains hither: but he could not be moved; so that his precious ashes must remain at Newbury. Hundreds would have gone from this town to attend his funeral, had they not expected he would have been interred here.... May this stroke be sanctified to the Church of God in general, and to this province in particular!"

II. 1. We are, in the second place, to take some view of his character. A little sketch of this was soon after published in the Boston Gazette; an extract of which is subjoined: -- ["Little can be said of him but what every friend to vital Christianity who has sat under his ministry will attest."]

"In his public labors he has, for many years, astonished the world with his eloquence and devotion. With what divine pathos did he persuade the unrepentant sinner to embrace the practice of piety and virtue! [Filled with the spirit of grace, he] spoke from the heart, and, with a fervency of zeal perhaps unequalled since the day of the Apostles, [adorned the truths he delivered with the most graceful charms of rhetoric and oratory.] From the pulpit he was unrivalled in the command of an ever-crowded auditory. Nor was he less agreeable and instructive in his private conversation; happy in a remarkable ease of address, willing to communicate, studious to edify. May the rising generation catch a spark of that flame which shone, with such distinguished luster, in the spirit and practice of this faithful servant of the most high God!"

2. A more particular, and equally just, character of him has appeared in one of the English papers. It may not be disagreeable to you to add the substance of this likewise: --

"The character of this truly pious person must be [deeply] impressed on the heart of every friend to vital religion. In spite of a tender [and delicate] constitution, he continued to the last day of his life, preaching with a frequency and fervor that seemed to exceed the natural strength of the most robust. Being called to the exercise of his function at an age when most young men are only beginning to qualify themselves for it, he had not time to make a very considerable progress in the learned languages. But this defect was amply supplied by a lively and fertile genius, by fervent zeal, and by a forcible and most persuasive delivery. And though in the pulpit he often found it needful by "the terrors of the Lord" to "persuade men," he had nothing gloomy in his nature; being singularly cheerful, as well as charitable and tender-hearted. He was as ready to relieve the bodily as the spiritual necessities of those that applied to him. It ought also to be observed, that he constantly enforced upon his audience every moral duty; particularly industry in their several callings, and obedience to their superiors. He endeavored, by the most extraordinary efforts of preaching, in different places, and even in the open fields, to rouse the lower class of people from the last degree of inattention and ignorance to a sense of religion. For this, and his other labors, the name of GEORGE WHITEFIELD will long be remembered with esteem and veneration."

3. That both these accounts are just and impartial, will readily be allowed; that is, as far as they go. But they go little farther than the outside of his character. They show you the preacher, but not the man, the Christian, the saint of God. May I be permitted to add a little on this head, from a personal knowledge of near forty years? Indeed, I am thoroughly sensible how difficult it is to speak on so delicate a subject; what prudence is required to avoid both extremes, to say neither too little nor too much! Nay, I know it is impossible to speak at all, to say either less or more, without incurring from some the former, from others the latter censure. Some will seriously think that too little is said; and others, that it is too much. But without attending to this, I will speak just what I know, before Him to whom we are all to give an account.

4. Mention has already been made of his unparalleled zeal, his indefatigable activity, his tender-heartedness to the afflicted, and charitableness toward the poor. But should we not likewise mention his deep gratitude to all whom God had used as instruments of good to him? -- of whom he did not cease to speak in the most respectful manner, even to his dying day. Should we not mention, that he had a heart susceptible of the most generous and the most tender friendship? I have frequently thought that this, of all others, was the distinguishing part of his character. How few have we known of so kind a temper, of such large and flowing affections! Was it not principally by this, that the hearts of others were so strangely drawn and knit to him? Can anything but love beget love? This shone in his very countenance, and continually breathed in all his words, whether in public or private. Was it not this, which, quick and penetrating as lightning, flew from heart to heart? which gave that life to his sermons, his conversations, his letters? Ye are witnesses!

5. But away with the vile misconstruction of men of corrupt minds, who know of no love but what is earthly and sensual! Be it remembered, at the same time, that he was endued with the most nice and unblemished modesty. His office called him to converse very frequently and largely with women as well as men; and those of every age and condition. But his whole behavior towards them was a practical comment on that advice of St. Paul to Timothy: "Entreat the elder women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity."

6. Meantime, how suitable to the friendliness of his spirit was the frankness and openness of his conversation! -- although it was as far removed from rudeness on the one hand, as from guile [and disguise] on the other. Was not this frankness at once a fruit and a proof of his courage and intrepidity? Armed with these, he feared not the faces of men, but "used great plainness of speech" to persons of every rank and condition, high and low, rich and poor; endeavoring only "by manifestation of the truth to commend himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

7. Neither was he afraid of labor or pain, any more than of "what man [could] do unto him;" being equally Patient in bearing ill and doing well.

And this appeared in the steadiness wherewith he pursued whatever he undertook for his Master's sake. Witness one instance for all, -- the Orphan-house in Georgia; which he began and perfected, in spite of all discouragements. Indeed, in whatever concerned himself he was pliant and flexible. In this case he was "easy to be entreated;" easy to be either convinced or persuaded. But he was immovable in the things of God, or wherever his conscience was concerned. None could persuade, any more than affright, him to vary, in the least point, from that integrity which was inseparable from his whole character, and regulated all his words and actions. Herein he did

Stand as an iron pillar strong, And steadfast as a wall of brass.

8. If it be inquired what was the foundation of this integrity, or of his sincerity, courage, patience, and every other valuable and amiable quality; it is easy to give the answer. It was not the excellence of his natural temper, not the strength of his understanding; it was not the force of education; no, nor the advice of his friends: it was no other than faith in a bleeding Lord; "faith of the operation of God." It was "a lively hope of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." It was "the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which was given unto him," filling his soul with tender, disinterested love to every child of man. From this source arose that torrent of eloquence which frequently bore down all before it; from this, that astonishing force of persuasion which the most hardened sinners could not resist. This it was which often made his "head as waters, and his eyes a fountain of tears." This it was which enabled him to pour out his soul in prayer, in a manner peculiar to himself, with such fullness and ease united together, with such strength and variety both of sentiment and expression.

9. I may close this head with observing what an honor it pleased God to put upon His faithful servant, by allowing him to declare His everlasting gospel in so many various countries, to such numbers of people, and with so great an effect on so many of their precious souls! Have we read or heard of any person since the Apostles, who testified the gospel of the grace of God through so widely extended a space, through so large a part of the habitable world? Have we read or heard of any person who called so many thousands, so many myriads, of sinners to repentance? Above all, have we read or heard of any who has been a blessed instrument in His hand of bringing so many sinners from "darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God?" It is true, were we to talk thus to the gay world, we should be judged to speak as barbarians. But you understand the language of the country to which you are going, and whither our dear friend is gone a little before us.

III. But how shall we improve this awful providence? This is the third thing which we have to consider. And the answer to this important question is easy (may God write it in all our hearts!). By keeping close to the grand doctrines which he delivered; and by drinking into his spirit.

1. And, first, let us keep close to the grand scriptural doctrines which he everywhere delivered. There are many doctrines of a less essential nature, with regard to which even the sincere children of God (such is the present weakness of human understanding) are and have been divided for many ages. In these we may think and let think; we may "agree to disagree." But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials of "the faith which was once delivered to the saints;" and which this champion of God so strongly insisted on, at all times, and in all places!

2. His fundamental point was, "Give God all the glory of whatever is good in man;" and, "In the business of salvation, set Christ as high and man as low as possible." With this point, he and his friends at Oxford, the original Methodists, so called, set out. Their grand principle was, there is no power (by nature) and no merit in man. They insisted, all power to think, speak, or act aright, is in and from the Spirit of Christ; and all merit is (not in man, how high soever in grace, but merely) in the blood of Christ. So he and they taught: there is no power in man, till it is given him from above, to do one good work, to speak one good word, or to form one good desire. For it is not enough to say, all men are sick of sin: no, we are all "dead in trespasses and sins." It follows, that all the children of men are, "by nature, children of wrath." We are all "guilty before God," liable to death temporal and eternal.

3. And we are all helpless, both with regard to the power and to the guilt of sin. "For who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" None less than the Almighty. Who can raise those that are dead, spiritually dead in sin? None but He who raised us from the dust of the earth. But on what consideration will He do this? "Not for works of righteousness that we have done." "The dead cannot praise Thee, O Lord;" nor do anything for the sake of which they should be raised to life. Whatever, therefore, God does, He does it merely for the sake of His well-beloved Son: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities." He Himself "bore" all "our sins in His own body upon the tree." He "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Here then is the sole meritorious cause of every blessing we do or can enjoy; in particular of our pardon and acceptance with God, of our full and free justification. But by what means do we become interested in what Christ has done and suffered? "Not by works, lest any man should boast;" but by faith alone. "We conclude," says the Apostle, "that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law." And "to as many as" thus "receive Him, giveth He power to become the sons of God, even to those that believe in His name; who are born, not of the will of man, but of God."

4. And "except a man be" thus "born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." But all who are thus "born of the Spirit" have "the kingdom of God within them." Christ sets up His kingdom in their hearts; "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." That "mind is in them, which was in Christ Jesus," enabling them to "walk as Christ also walked." His indwelling Spirit makes them both holy in heart, and "holy in all manner of conversation." But still, seeing all this is a free gift, through the righteousness and blood of Christ, there is eternally the same reason to remember, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

5. You are not ignorant that these are the fundamental doctrines which he everywhere insisted on. And may they not be summed up, as it were, in two words, -- the new birth, and justification by faith? These let us insist upon with all boldness, at all times, and in all places; -- in public (those of us who are called thereto), and at all opportunities in private. Keep close to these good, old, unfashionable doctrines, how many soever contradict and blaspheme. Go on, my brethren, in the "name of the Lord, and in the power of His might." With all care and diligence, "keep that safe which is committed to your trust;" knowing that "heaven and earth shall pass away, but this truth shall not pass away."

6. But will it be sufficient to keep close to his doctrines, how pure soever they are? Is there not a point of still greater importance than this, namely, to drink into his spirit? -- herein to be a follower of him, even as he was of Christ? Without this, the purity of our doctrines would only increase our condemnation. This, therefore, is the principal thing -- to copy after his spirit. And allowing that in some points we must be content to admire what we cannot imitate; yet in many others we may, through the same free grace, be partakers of the same blessing. Conscious then of your own wants and of His bounteous love, who "giveth liberally and reproaches not," cry to Him that works all in all for a measure of the same precious faith; of the same zeal and activity; the same tender-heartedness, charitableness, bowels of mercies. Wrestle with God for some degree of the same grateful, friendly, affectionate temper; of the same openness, simplicity, and godly sincerity; "love without dissimulation." Wrestle on, till the power from on high works in you the same steady courage and patience; and above all, because it is the crown of all, the same invariable integrity!

7. Is there any other fruit of the grace of God with which he was eminently endowed, and the want of which among the children of God he frequently and passionately mourned? There is one, that is, catholic love; that sincere and tender affection which is due to all those who, we have reason to believe, are children of God by faith; in other words, all those, in every persuasion, who "fear God and work righteousness." He longed to see all who had "tasted of the good word," of a true catholic spirit; a word little understood, and still less experienced, by many who have it frequently in their mouth. Who is he that answers this character? Who is the man of a catholic spirit? One who loves as friends, as brethren in the Lord, as joint partakers of the present kingdom of heaven, and fellow heirs of His eternal kingdom, all, of whatever opinion, mode of worship, or congregation, who believe in the Lord Jesus; who love God and man; who, rejoicing to please and fearing to offend God, are careful to abstain from evil, and zealous of good works. He is a man of a truly catholic spirit, who bears all these continually upon his heart; who, having an unspeakable tenderness for their persons, and an earnest desire of their welfare, does not cease to commend them to God in prayer, as well as to plead their cause before men; who speaks comfortably to them, and labors, by all his words, to strengthen their hands in God. He assists them to the uttermost of his power, in all things, spiritual and temporal; he is ready to "spend and be spent" for them; yea, "to lay down his life for his brethren."

8. How amiable a character is this! How desirable to every child of God! But why is it then so rarely found? How is it that there are so few instances of it? Indeed, supposing we have tasted of the love of God, how can any of us rest till it is our own? Why, there is a delicate device, whereby Satan persuades thousands that they may stop short of it and yet be guiltless. It is well if many here present are not in this "snare of the devil, taken captive at his will."O yes," says one, "I have all this love for those I believe to be children of God; but I will never believe he is a child of God, who belongs to that vile congregation! Can he, do you think, be a child of God, who holds such detestable opinions? or he that joins in such senseless and superstitious, if not idolatrous, worship?" So we may justify ourselves in one sin by adding a second to it! We excuse the want of love in ourselves by laying the blame on others! To color our own devilish temper, we pronounce our brethren children of the devil! O beware of this! -- and if you are already taken in the snare, escape out of it as soon as possible! Go and learn that truly catholic love which "is not rash," or hasty in judging; that love which "thinks no evil;" which "believes and hopes all things;" which makes all the allowances for others that we desire others should make for us! Then we shall take knowledge of the grace of God which is in every man, whatever be his opinion or mode of worship: then will all that fear God be near and dear unto us "in the bowels of Jesus Christ."

9. Was not this the spirit of our dear friend? And why should it not be ours? O Thou God of love, how long shall Thy people be a by-word among the Heathen? How long shall they laugh us to scorn, and say, "See how these Christians love one another!" When wilt Thou roll away our reproach? Shall the sword devour for ever? How long will it be ere Thou bid Thy people return from "following each other?" Now, at least, "let all the people stand still, and pursue after their brethren no more!" But what ever others do, let all of us, my brethren, hear the voice of him that, being dead, yet speaks! Suppose ye hear him say, "Now, at least, be ye followers of me as I was of Christ! Let brother "no more lift up sword against brother, neither know ye war any more!" Rather put ye on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercies, humbleness of mild, brotherly kindness, gentleness, long- suffering, forbearing one another in love. Let the time past suffice for strife, envy, contention; for biting and devouring one another. Blessed be God, that ye have not long ago been consumed one of another! From henceforth hold ye the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

10. O God, with Thee no word is impossible! Thou does whatever please Thee! O that Thou would cause the mantle of Thy prophet, whom Thou hast taken up, now to fall upon us that remain! "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" Let his spirit rest upon these Thy servants! Show Thou art the God that answers by fire! Let the fire of Thy love fall on every heart! And because we love Thee, let us love one another with a "love stronger than death!" Take away from us "all anger, and wrath, and bitterness; all clamor and evil speaking!" Let Thy Spirit so rest upon us, that from this hour we may be "kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake hath forgiven us!"

AN HYMN

1Servant of God, well done! Thy glorious warfare's past; The battle's fought, the race is won, And thou art crown'd at last; Of all thy heart's desire Triumphantly possess'd, Lodged by the ministerial choir In thy Redeemer's breast.

2In condescending love, Thy ceaseless prayer He heard; And bade thee suddenly remove To thy complete reward: Ready to bring the peace, Thy beauteous feet were shod, When mercy sign'd thy soul's release, And caught thee up to God.

3With saints enthroned on high, Thou dost thy Lord proclaim, And still To God salvation cry, Salvation to the Lamb! O happy, happy soul! In ecstasies of praise, Long as eternal ages roll, Thou seest thy Savior's face!

4Redeem'd from earth and pain, Ah! when shall we ascend, And all in Jesu's presence reign With our translated friend? Come, Lord, and quickly come! And, when in Thee complete, Receive Thy longing servants home, To triumph at Thy feet!

[Sugden's edition includes the additions in square brackets within the text.] [Sugden's introduction:

GEORGE WHITEFIELD died at Newburyport, Massachusetts, thirty miles north of Boston, on September 30, 1770, in the Presbyterian manse, which is still preserved. He was buried in a vault under the pulpit of the Presbyterian meeting-house on October 2, according to his own wish; and in 1828 a cenotaph was erected in the church with a suitable inscription. Under date November 1O, 1770, Wesley says, "I returned to London, and had the low-spirited news of Mr. Whitefield's death confirmed by his executors, who desired me to preach his funeral sermon on Sunday the 18th." [This was his own wish. "If you should die abroad," said Mr. Keen, "whom shall we get to preach your funeral sermon? Must it be your old friend, the Rev. Mr. John Wesley?" This question was often put, and as often Whitefield answered, "He is the man."] "In order to write this, I retired to Lewisham on Monday; and on Sunday following went to the chapel in Tottenham Court Road. An immense multitude was gathered together from all corners of the town. I was at first afraid that a great part of the congregation would not be able to hear; but it pleased God to strengthen my voice that even those at the door heard distinctly. It was an awful season. All were still as night; most appeared to be deeply affected; and an impression was made on many which one would hope will not speedily be effaced. The time appointed for my beginning at the Tabernacle was half-hour after five, but it was quite filled at three; so I began at four. At first the noise was exceeding great; but it ceased when I began to speak; and my voice was again so strengthened that all who were within could hear, unless an accidental noise hindered here or there for a few moments. Oh that all may hear the voice of Him with whom are the issues of life and death; and who so loudly, by this unexpected stroke, calls all His children to love one another." On the following Friday he repeated the sermon at the Tabernacle at Greenwich to an overflowing congregation. Again, on January 2, 1771, he preached at Deptford "a kind of funeral sermon for Mr. Whitefield. In every place I wish to show all possible respect to the memory of that great and good man."

It must not be forgotten that at this very time Wesley was in the thick of the controversy with the Rev. Walter Shirley and the Countess of Huntingdon's preachers about the famous Minutes of 1770, in which Wesley had laid down clearly the differences between his views and those of the Calvinists. It is much to the credit both of Mr. Whitefield's friends and of Wesley that this was not allowed to interfere with their invitation to him to preach the sermon, nor with his own affectionate and ungrudging recognition of the greatness and goodness of his departed fellow worker. Indeed, their difference of opinion had never, since the dispute in 1741, been permitted to interrupt their mutual love and esteem; they agreed to differ, and still to love one another.

The sermon was at once published in London; and a reprint was issued in Dublin, also dated 1770, with an additional hymn "Glory and thanks and love;" and it was placed last in the sermons in vol. iv (1771). A warm attack was made on it in the Gospel Magazine of February 1771, probably by Mr. Romaine. He first objected to the text. "How improper," he says, "to apply the words of a mad prophet to so holy a man as Mr. Whitefield!" Of course Wesley's answer was obvious: he did not apply the words to Mr. Whitefield, but to himself; and he humorously says, "Nothing would be more suitable than for Balaam junior to use the words of his forefather; surely a poor reprobate may, without offence, wish to die like one of the elect!" The more serious part of the attack was on the statement in iii. (5) that "the fundamental doctrines which Mr. Whitefield everywhere insisted on" were "the new birth, and justification by faith." Romaine, on the contrary, affirms "the grand fundamental doctrines, which he everywhere preached, were the everlasting covenant between the Father and the Son, and absolute predestination flowing therefrom." Wesley answers "(1) that Mr. Whitefield did not everywhere preach these. In all the times I myself heard him preach, I never heard him utter a sentence either on one or the other. Yea, all the times he preached in West Street Chapel, and in our other chapels throughout England, he did not preach these doctrines at all, no, not in a single paragraph.

(2) That he did everywhere preach the new birth, and justification by faith.\ Both in West Street Chapel and in all our other chapels throughout England, he did preach the necessity of the new birth, and justification by faith, as clearly as he has done in his two volumes of printed sermons." Wesley was not ignorant of the differences between himself and Whitefield in regard to predestination; but most properly in this sermon, whilst he recognizes (iii. I) that there are differences of opinion between the children of God, he emphasizes the points of agreement; and whatever Whitefield may have believed about the eternal decrees, no man ever preached a full and free salvation more constantly and effectively than he did. The only solution of this difficultly is to be found in the recognition that the two opposing views represent the two sides of one truth, which our finite understanding is not able to synthesize; but which we may nevertheless accept, just as we accept the Unity in Trinity in the Godhead, or the divine-human person of our Lord.

Incidentally we learn from Wesley reply to Romaine that one of the hymns sung at the service was Charles Wesley's "Shrinking from the cold hand of death," from the Short Hymns on Select Passages (1762), now No. 823 in the Methodist Hymn-Book; the other was no doubt the one appended to the sermon, "Servant of God, well done!" written by Charles Wesley for this occasion, and published as "An Hymn on the Death of the Rev. Mr. Whitefield" in the third (post-humous) series of Funeral Hymns. The hymn appended to the Dublin edition of the sermon is No. 42 in the second series of Funeral Hymns, published in 1759 (Osborn's edition of Poetical Works, vi. 285).

The Tottenham Court Road Chapel, or Whitefield's Tabernacle, as it was often called, stood on the west side of the road, between Tottenham Street and Howland Street. The site was then surrounded by fields and gardens, and there were only two houses to the north of it. The foundation stone was laid by Whitefield in June 1756, and he opened it on November 7 of the same year. It soon was found to be too small, and was enlarged in 1759. A vault was prepared beneath the chapel, in which Whitefield meant that both he himself and the two Wesleys should be interred; but his wish was not fulfilled. In 1890 the building was taken down and re-erected. It is now known as Whitefield's Central Mission.

The Tabernacle was originally a wooden shed to the north of Upper Moorfields, close to Wesley's Foundery, opened in 1741; in 1753 it was superseded by a brick building, the one in which this sermon was preached in the afternoon. This was used for over a century, and was then replaced by a Tabernacle at the corner of Tabernacle Street and Leonard Street, Finsbury, which occupied the old site. The old pulpit was retained from which Wesley preached on this occasion. The building is now used for business purposes.]

41 posted on 09/06/2001 2:47:32 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: ShadowAce, RnMomof7, judas24, Alas, Matchett-PI
You are responsible to believe the gospel. God commands men everywhere to repent.

To use the doctrine of predestination to say "But why?" is to make the very mistake which an irresponsible reprobate would predictably make. Please be careful here!

The reason why I say that it is a predictable mistake is because it is the very question which Paul anticipates and answers in Romans 9:19-20.

The fact that you posed this question as an objection against the Calvinistic interpretation of Romans 9 is an independent witness that we Calvinists are reading Romans 9 correctly. And Paul is warning you in particular about the problem of doctrinal hard-heartedness.

God takes the credit as the first cause of all things. This is part of what it means to be Lord. You really do need to confess this. "In Him we live and move and have our being," and "He upholds all things by the Word of His Power." This idea that God is the first cause of all things in matters of salvation and damnation is clear in Romans 9. But it goes without saying that you take the blame as the efficient cause of all of your own wickedness.

(When God hardens your heart, it proceeds according to mechanisms of your own wickedness. You need to confess that about your own sinful nature. The idea that you are accountable to God for your actions and attitudes is another aspect of confessing His Lordship. It's just outside the scope of what Paul is emphasizing in Romans 9. He is talking about the predestinarian side of reality, not the free agency side of reality.)

42 posted on 09/06/2001 2:53:24 PM PDT by the_doc
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To: White Mountain
You mean dogs don't go to heaven? :-)

You miss the point. Mean dogs like you don't go to heaven.

43 posted on 09/06/2001 2:56:07 PM PDT by the_doc
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To: the_doc
"judas24"

uh......

typo????

44 posted on 09/06/2001 2:58:25 PM PDT by jude24
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To: the_doc
doc, as much as these "Wesleyans" despise you for daring to point out the nature of spiritual deception.....I can't help but to believe that they surely would have deemed Jonathan Edwards a devil!.

Man, if they think you're hard, they should read the Treatise on the Religious Affections.

45 posted on 09/06/2001 3:10:56 PM PDT by spudgin
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To: ShadowAce
Did I miss you on the bump? sorry
46 posted on 09/06/2001 3:17:09 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: White Mountain
I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

The problem for you WM is that in your current mormon situation, you will glorify Him by not praising Him. You see, you will only praise that which is foremost in your affections; and that for you is yourself. You are busy listening to the following lie: I will be like the most High. You need to stop this. It will be Eternally fatal unless your heart is changed. Repent and taste the joy in my Christ.

47 posted on 09/06/2001 3:19:52 PM PDT by CCWoody
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To: White Mountain
Please, doc, do your best to convince RnMom, and the others, to their satisfaction, that you are not in the mind-control business. You can start by letting others know that they can disagree with you without accusations, attacks, and heavy warnings of eternal damnation. As you exhort all to come to Christ, tell the truth about those who already have, and acknowledge their devotion and commitment in faith to Him, even though you disagree with them on matters of doctrine

I've got a better idea. I will tell them the Truth from God's Word. And the Truth is, there are more wide-doorway pseudo-conversions than there are genuine (narrow-doorway) conversions.

Now, the very fact that there are pseudo-conversions tells us that there are unregenerate folks who will receive some Bible truths at some level in their deceitful and desperately/unknowably wicked hearts . (The Reformers noticed this over and over in Roman Catholicism.)

Next, notice that when we put this interesting fact alongside the fact that the pseudo-conversions do outnumber the genuine conversions, the evidential value of a person's testimony and smattering of Bible knowledge can be essentially neutralized by the display of lying spirit.

So, tell me again why I should be unwilling to warn doctrinal liars?

***

I can understand why non-Christians such as yourself don't like sermonic material on the wrath of God. And I can understand that you "burning bosom" folks can't stand serious discussions about Satanic counterfeiting.

And as I see it, the fact that you are the one who runs to give them your stinky balm of reassurance by attacking me is not a good sign for them.

48 posted on 09/06/2001 3:30:12 PM PDT by the_doc
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To: George W. Bush
You know, I find something very ironic about your situation. You follow the words of Calvinism, but you do not understand the words in the Bible.

I know next to nothing about the Westminster Confession, but how can it possibly bring Glory to God if a perfected person is thrown into hell? It would leave God Eternally wondering why His blood wasn't enough! And would make God a Blasphemer against Himself. It would be horrible in so many ways. Think about it!

49 posted on 09/06/2001 3:31:15 PM PDT by CCWoody
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To: RnMomof7
I will read the work of Wesley,Clarke,Finny,McGee,McArthur,Gill,Calvin..etc...with out fear.

Read none and don't intend to start.

50 posted on 09/06/2001 3:34:03 PM PDT by CCWoody
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