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Our Glorious Gospel
Answers For Today ^ | Chuck Smith

Posted on 01/06/2004 6:08:05 PM PST by P-Marlowe

 

 

18. Our Glorious Gospel

When Jesus began His public ministry, He went into the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. He was handed the Scriptures. He turned to the Book of Isaiah and read this portion to them:

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1-2a).

After reading it, Jesus closed the book and said, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4:16-21).

Jesus closed the book after the reading, but Isaiah's prophecy doesn't stop there. Let's read on.

And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, that garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified (v. 2b-3).

The glorious "good tidings" that we proclaim to you today is God's glorious message to man. In a world filled with so much misery, strife, and trouble, it's good to hear some good news for a change.

Message for the Meek

Reading the newspapers or watching the news on TV gives a sad commentary upon man's existence. Oh, how ready we are for some good news! The Gospel is good news, but who is it for?

In reading from Isaiah, Jesus declared, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings," the Gospel "unto the meek." The Gospel is for the meek, those who are conscious of their inadequacies and needs and are reaching out for help. The best way to understand the word "meek" is to separate it: me...ek. When I realize how "eeky" I am, I know what meek is all about. The Gospel is for those who recognize their need for something more, who are dissatisfied with their current status, who desire a better life.

Many people today are very satisfied with their lives. They're satisfied with their possessions and situations. The Gospel isn't for them. Other people today are extremely proud of themselves. The Gospel isn't for them, either.

The Gospel Message

What does the Gospel do? First, it is meant "to bind up the brokenhearted." We've seen Valentine's Day cards that show broken hearts. Sometimes the heart is broken through the middle and sometimes it is totally fractured. Our hearts often break because of unreciprocated love. We have a deep love for another, but it's not received and accepted. This causes our hearts to break. I wonder how many times God's heart is broken over us.

Our hearts often break over our own failures and weaknesses. We promise ourselves that we'll do certain things, but we don't seem to be capable of achieving them. So, we experience heartbreak over our inadequacies. Our desire to be what we apparently can't be and to achieve what apparently is beyond our capacity causes personal heartbreak.

The Gospel has come to bind up the brokenhearted, to let us know that we can be what God would have us to be. The good news is that we can achieve, attain, and experience a love that flows and flows and doesn't quit. The second thing that the Gospel does is "to proclaim liberty to the captives." Paul spoke of those who had fallen in the snares of the devil and had been taken captive by the devil against their will (II Timothy 2:26). Many people today have fallen into the snare of the devil and have been taken captive by the devil against their own will. In another passage Paul referred to those "who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:15).

We often use the term "free moral agent," but it's almost a misnomer. To say that a man is a free moral agent when he cannot help but do the things he does is a contradiction. If some compelling force is driving you to do things even when you don't want to do them, you're not free. You're a captive.

Sin often comes to you with a sugar-coated covering. You taste it and "Wow!" you plunge right into it. After the sugar is gone, you taste the bitter portion and try to spit it out. But now it's lodged in your throat and you can't get rid of it. If you're controlled by a cigarette habit or if you've got to have a drink, don't tell me you're a free moral agent. You're a captive - and the bitterness is just pouring into your system.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has come to set free those who are captive. He can break every snare and deliver men from all the bondage of corruption that has held them in its power.

The third thing the Gospel does is "the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Today the Gospel will open the prison that you find yourself in.

When we were in Ecuador, the missionaries told us that if we get involved in a car accident, even if it's not our fault, the best thing to do is to go immediately to the airport and catch the next plane out of the country. When you're involved in an accident down there, guilty or innocent, you'll land in jail. You have to stay in jail until you can prove you're innocent, but you may not get a court date for five years. And in Ecuador they don't feed the prisoners. Someone on the outside has to feed you or you'll starve to death. And that's one of the nicer things about the jails.

I've also heard about the Mexican jails. If you get thrown in, your influence in the United States doesn't mean anything to the judge. They say the best thing is to stay out, because once you're in, you're really in. I don't know how true that is, but I don't want to experiment to find out.

Let's say that you're in jail in Mexico. You've tried every way to get out. You've written to the Mexican government, the American consulate, the UN. You've done everything, and you've finally concluded that you're not going to get out. So now you want to escape. Someone comes along and says, "I have a friend who can get you out."

"How can your friend get me out? Man, I've tried everything."

"He can."

"What makes you so sure?"

"He's freed thousands of others." Really! What do I have to do?"

"Just trust him." "But how's he going to do it?"

"I don't know. He has his own ways. But I know he can."

"But if I don't know how he does it, I'm not sure I want to trust him."

"It's your choice, friend. Either rot in jail or take a chance."

We find ourselves in the prison of our own lust and sin. The good news comes that there's One who can deliver us, set us free, open the doors of the prison and liberate us. But we've got to put our trust in Him completely. We've got to commit ourselves totally into His hands, trusting that He can do what He has promised. We can be assured that He's already delivered thousands out of that same jail. He has set multitudes free from the bondage of sin. He can set you free today from your prison, if you'll give Him a chance.

There is an urgency in this Gospel of Jesus Christ. "...To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Though the Lord is offering you this freedom today, His offer is subject to withdrawal at any time. You see, Jesus Christ is under no obligation to save you at all. He doesn't owe you anything. His offer comes to you strictly because He is so good and loving that He hates to see you in a mess. So He offers to set you free.

However, this offer will be withdrawn - just when, we don't know. God told Noah, "My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3). If you reject His offer today, you can't be sure whether the offer will be good tomorrow. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2). "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6). "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

We proclaim to you "the acceptable year of the Lord." "Now is the accepted time." Now is the time for you to receive this glorious Gospel. Now is the time for you to be set free.

There is coming a "day of vengeance of our God" (Isaiah 61:2). His offer will then be withdrawn and men shall experience nothing but what they justly deserve for their sins: the "day of vengeance of our God."

The Gospel Power

What will the Gospel do for you? Verse 3 reads: "to give unto them beauty for ashes..." I love the power of the Gospel! I've seen the effects of the Gospel, and I've seen it bring beauty for ashes. Some people are burned out, wasted, and destroyed. I've seen the Spirit of God take those burned-out lives and remake, remold, and reshape them into new and beautiful men and women.

I think of Mike MacIntosh, the pastor of our church in San Diego. When Mike first came to church, he was totally burned-out. He had taken so much acid and speed that he thought a bag was over his head and a .45 pistol was going off inside his brain. He would hear the explosion over and over. As I watched this handsome but totally burned-out young man, I wondered if he would ever recover from the damage done to his brain cells. I saw God take these ashes and begin to work with them - mold, shape, and change. I saw God restore Mike's wife and children. I saw God restore all that he had lost through his own folly.

Today, I see that beautiful young man standing before a glorious congregation in San Diego, with the glow of Jesus on his face and the love of Christ radiating from his life. I realize the power of the Gospel gives "beauty for ashes."

"The oil of joy for mourning" (Isaiah 61:3). Many people today find themselves in deep depression and sorrow of heart, grieved not only over themselves and their inadequacies, failures, and inabilities to cope, but with all of society. Our glorious Gospel gives "the oil of joy for mourning." It will lift your life from depression, sorrow, despair, and despondency to joy and hope.

The Gospel will also give you "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isaiah 61:3). Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy leaden..." (Matthew 11:28). If the burden you're carrying is heavier than you can bear, if you feel pressed down by life and by your circumstances, our glorious Gospel will fill your heart and life with praises unto God. How glorious to see people who once wallowed in the dejection and hopelessness of this world now walk with a spring in their steps, a smile on their faces, and the garment of praise covering their lives. That's the elect of this glorious Gospel.

The Gospel Glory

What is the purpose of the Gospel? That we "might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified" (Isaiah 61:3). God has done His work so that we might glorify Him. "To God be the glory, great things He hath done." As we see lives change - men and women set free and remade through the power of Jesus Christ, born again by the Spirit of God - we give glory to God for His work. These hopeless lives are now "trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord." The changes are God's work wrought in them, and there is no other explanation for it.

So often a man who has fought against alcoholism has been defeated by it. His life is burned out, and he's now an outcast. You see him in the street in his pitiful condition. He has cried out for help. His family has tried to help him. But finally everyone has given up, and we call him a bum. As the power of the Gospel touches the ashes of his life and begins to turn him around, it changes and sets him free. The Gospel liberates him from that prison and makes of him a glorious person, beautiful to behold, a tower of strength within the community.

Only the Gospel can do that, and only God can be glorified for it. That's the purpose of the Gospel.

The Gospel Truth

You ask, "Just what is the Gospel, the good news?" Just this: Though you have failed and sinned, God loves you. God loves you so much that He sent His Son to set you free from your prison. If you'll put your trust completely in Him, He'll free you today, change your life, and make you what God wants you to be.

We have a glorious Gospel, but there's only one difficulty. To be effective it has to be applied. A fellow once asked a minister, "If your Gospel is so great, why isn't everyone a Christian?" The pastor responded, "If soap is so good, why isn't everyone clean?" Does the fact of dirty people testify against the value of soap? No. It works, but you have to apply it.

Have you?

 

 


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1 posted on 01/06/2004 6:08:06 PM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: P-Marlowe
Bookmarked. Thanks.
2 posted on 01/06/2004 6:42:58 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (2003 Review www.wardsmythe.com)
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To: All
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Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

3 posted on 01/06/2004 6:43:59 PM PST by Support Free Republic (I'd rather be sleeping. Let's get this over with so I can go back to sleep!)
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To: P-Marlowe; drstevej; CCWoody; OrthodoxPresbyterian; RnMomof7; CARepubGal; Alex Murphy; Wrigley; ...
We have a glorious Gospel, but there's only one difficulty. To be effective it has to be applied. A fellow once asked a minister, "If your Gospel is so great, why isn't everyone a Christian?" The pastor responded, "If soap is so good, why isn't everyone clean?" Does the fact of dirty people testify against the value of soap? No. It works, but you have to apply it.

Pretty poor analogy, I'd say. One can clean one's self up with soap, but one cannot apply the Gospel to one's self. No man can clean himself up to come to God. No man can apply the Gospel to himself by himself, and thereby save himself. Unless God enlightens the heart, man cannot understand the Gospel. God must first resuscitate the dead heart of sin, because a spiritually dead man cannot perform the actions of one spiritually alive, i.e. believe the Gospel savingly, repent savingly and receive forgiveness of sins savingly. Only a spiritually alive man can do that. God must act on his heart first, monoergistically, or the man will not believe the Gospel, or receive Christ. God does not consult the man's will to do so, He does so Sovereignly. Spiritually dead men cannot perform God-pleasing acts. They not only cannot, they would not even if they could. Spiritually alive men do perfom God-pleasing acts. They believe the Gospel, they receive the Word and understand it, they repent of their sins, they receive justification by faith, because only spiritually alive men can be justified.

Man must be made spiritually alive before he can receive Christ. That is a sovereign action of God, apart from the man's will or desire. Once made spiritually alive, the man will desire Christ, receive Him, and be justified in Him through faith, which is given him by God when God resuscitates his dead, cold, stony heart of sin and corruption, by the hearing of the Word, which brings Faith. Until God resuscitates that heart, the man has no spiritual ears, no receptive heart, no capacity to believe savingly.

Comparing the Gospel to soap is a poor analogy, and even poorer theology.

4 posted on 01/06/2004 7:30:34 PM PST by nobdysfool (All True Christians will be Calvinists in Glory)
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To: P-Marlowe
If soap is so good, why isn't everyone clean?" Does the fact of dirty people testify against the value of soap? No. It works, but you have to apply it.

Marlowe, it's a good thing for you that drstevej isn't here right now. Because if he were, he would ask you "How is a dead man is gonna wash his own tush?"

5 posted on 01/06/2004 7:39:17 PM PST by Gamecock (The Spirit of Piel is with us.)
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To: P-Marlowe
BTW,

"Our Glorious Gospel"

I thought it was the Gospel of Christ. What's up with that?
6 posted on 01/06/2004 7:43:14 PM PST by Gamecock (The Spirit of Piel is among us.)
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To: P-Marlowe; drstevej; Alex Murphy; Gamecock; Wrigley; Jean Chauvin; RnMomof7; CARepubGal; snerkel; ..
We often use the term "free moral agent," but it's almost a misnomer. To say that a man is a free moral agent when he cannot help but do the things he does is a contradiction. If some compelling force is driving you to do things even when you don't want to do them, you're not free. You're a captive.

Almost a misnomer? It IS a misnomer! Unsaved men are captives to sin. As such, they CANNOT free themselves. That's why God must act first. Man does not hold the key to his jail cell. God does. God must FIRST turn the key in the lock (resuscitate the dead, cold, stony heart of sin), Pull open the door (impart Faith by means of the hearing of the Word (the Gospel), and THEN the man can walk out of his jail cell (repent for his sins, believe on Christ, and receive justification).

7 posted on 01/06/2004 8:03:34 PM PST by nobdysfool (May the Piel be with you)
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To: nobdysfool
Spiritually alive men do perfom God-pleasing acts. They believe the Gospel, they receive the Word and understand it, they repent of their sins, they receive justification by faith, because only spiritually alive men can be justified.

Are these God-pleasing acts necessary?

Is salvation dependant on them?

8 posted on 01/06/2004 8:38:44 PM PST by PFKEY
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To: nobdysfool
Another way to ask the question: is a man spiritually alive because he has been justified or has he been justified because he is spiritually alive?
9 posted on 01/06/2004 8:49:19 PM PST by PFKEY
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To: Gamecock
***"Our Glorious Gospel"

I thought it was the Gospel of Christ. What's up with that?**


Thats for all the folks that save themselves .

10 posted on 01/06/2004 8:51:38 PM PST by RnMomof7 (broomstick jockey)
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To: nobdysfool
Maybe we can start with a few definitions?

What does it mean to be justified?

What does it mean to be spiritually alive?

Does a justified man have salvation?

Does a spiritually alive man have salvation?

11 posted on 01/06/2004 9:00:57 PM PST by PFKEY
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To: RnMomof7
I keep forgeting the "Man alone be the glory" perspective.
12 posted on 01/06/2004 9:08:15 PM PST by Gamecock (The Spirit of Piel is among us.)
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To: Gamecock; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe
The "Calvinist" Paul didn't seem to have a problem saying "my" gospel.

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began...

I'd prolly point that out, but that would be picking at nits.

13 posted on 01/06/2004 9:21:24 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (2003 Review www.wardsmythe.com)
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To: nobdysfool
Would God cause a man to be spiritually alive that was not already predestine for salvation i.e elect?

Would God justify a man that was not already predestine for salvation i.e elect?

14 posted on 01/06/2004 9:28:56 PM PST by PFKEY
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To: Corin Stormhands
The "Calvinist" Paul didn't seem to have a problem saying "my" gospel.

But then he was teaching predestination and election so it was the true gospel :>))

15 posted on 01/06/2004 10:10:27 PM PST by RnMomof7 (broomstick jockey)
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To: Corin Stormhands; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe
Paul wrote it. When the writings of Chuck Smith are made part of the canon of Scripture he can call it my Gospel.
16 posted on 01/06/2004 10:11:38 PM PST by Gamecock (The Spirit of Piel is among us.)
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To: Gamecock; Corin Stormhands; xzins; Revelation 911
"Our Glorious Gospel" I thought it was the Gospel of Christ. What's up with that?

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yeah, what's up with that?

Its funny you post a simple gospel message and a lot of people just come unglued. Rather than look to the power of the gospel message itself, they look for heresies in every word nit picking every jot and tittle looking for something that they can point to as a hidden theological error and then miss the glorious picture that surrounds them.

BTW Gamecock: Have you?

17 posted on 01/06/2004 10:18:00 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Gamecock
Marlowe once said that Calvinists worship the devil , so I guess he is giving you the four spiritual laws/ Come as you are test
18 posted on 01/06/2004 10:26:09 PM PST by RnMomof7 (broomstick jockey)
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To: P-Marlowe
Excellent article by one of America's premier pastor/teachers.

The soap analogy is spot on!
19 posted on 01/06/2004 10:34:19 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: P-Marlowe
Its funny you post a simple gospel message and a lot of people just come unglued. Rather than look to the power of the gospel message itself, they look for heresies in every word nit picking every jot and tittle looking for something that they can point to as a hidden theological error and then miss the glorious picture that surrounds them.

I recall someone nit picking the Puritan's evangelical program as if the Great Awakening was the working of the Anti-Christ himself. Funny how we seem to miss our own beams. I'm sure God can use this type of evangelism. Personally, I think this would be effective for children.

The best way to understand the word "meek" is to separate it: me...ek. When I realize how "eeky" I am, I know what meek is all about.
(While he didn't go through a lot of effort to discover the etymology of the word...I think children can relate.)

20 posted on 01/06/2004 10:36:08 PM PST by lockeliberty
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To: P-Marlowe; Corin Stormhands
Good to have you back, PM.

N3

21 posted on 01/06/2004 10:36:45 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: lockeliberty; xzins
I'm sure God can use this type of evangelism. Personally, I think this would be effective for children.

Luk 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Seems to me that the best kind of evangelistic gospel sermon is one which a child can relate to.

Lather up.

22 posted on 01/06/2004 10:50:23 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
Lather up.

Still judging souls, I see.

Care to speak to the beam?

23 posted on 01/06/2004 10:55:33 PM PST by lockeliberty
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To: lockeliberty; xzins
Care to speak to the beam?

If you are talking about that tract where it stated that you have to prepare yourself to be acceptable before the lord before you will be saved, then I don't think that was the gospel. Salvation is not the work of men, it is the work of God. You cannot prepare yourself so that you are somehow worthy to be saved, you just have to believe. Sanctification comes after salvation, not before.

24 posted on 01/06/2004 11:04:38 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
If you are talking about that tract where it stated that you have to prepare yourself to be acceptable before the lord before you will be saved, then I don't think that was the gospel.

The tract was just a rearticulation of the Puritan evangelical program. Are you saying that our fore-fathers were tricked into Christianity? If one "lathers up" is he preparing for salvation or is he performing his own salvation?

25 posted on 01/06/2004 11:12:04 PM PST by lockeliberty
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To: lockeliberty; xzins
If one "lathers up" is he preparing for salvation or is he performing his own salvation?

The point of the article is not why you would or would not lather up. The point is that if you refuse to lather up then you are preparing for your own damnation. The point is that regardless of the reason why you respond to the gospel message, the fact of the matter is that if you are to be saved, you MUST respond to it. You must do what the gospel says. You must believe. Responding insures your salvation, while refusing to respond insures your damnation.

So if you don't respond to the gospel, the gospel does you no good. The fact that some people refuse to bathe is no reason to believe that soap is not effective. Similarly the fact that some people refuse to heed to gospel message is no reason to believe that the gospel message is not effective.

26 posted on 01/06/2004 11:33:49 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
Responding insures your salvation, while refusing to respond insures your damnation.

Let me try to define our "lather up" analogy and the differences in our perspectives.

You would say:

Man "lathers up" through his own personal response.

I would say:

God "lathers up" man so that he can respond.

Does this accurately reflect our different perspectives?

27 posted on 01/06/2004 11:51:47 PM PST by lockeliberty
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To: PFKEY; drstevej; Wrigley; Alex Murphy; OrthodoxPresbyterian; Gamecock; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; ...
Are these God-pleasing acts necessary?

Can a man be saved without them? Let me be very clear here, because I know the tendency is to try to distort what Calvinists say. The man performs the acts. I don't think there can be any argument on that point. The question is, does he perform the acts totally on his own initiative, or does God enable the man to do so?

The Arminian says that salvation is of God.

The Calvinist says the same.

The Arminian says that the man must choose to come to God, but they don't address his ability to do so. The assumption is that man is able to make that choice, unaided, only needing to hear the Gospel.

The Calvinist says that man cannot choose to do so on his own, so God must first enable the man to hear the Gospel so that he CAN believe it, and receive Christ.

The Arminian says that's "Prevenient Grace", that wonderful catch-all term that is at the same time universal, yet specific, and sufficient by itself to enable man to make his own choice to receive Christ.

The Calvinist says that God's enabling of the man is Irresistable Grace, or Effectual Grace, meaning that it is specific, not universal, and that it is never failing in those to whom it is granted.

The Arminian says that God does not override man's free will in this, that the man's free will is sacrosanct, inviolable, or God would be some sort of draconian monster, pushing people around, and making them do things they don't want to do, although they never really explain why God forcing someone to be saved would be a bad thing, seeing that it is of infinite value to the one so saved.

The Calvinist says that God, without consulting the man's will, unilaterally resuscitates the sinner's dead, cold, stony heart of sin, a heart that is incapable of hearing or believing the gospel (the preaching of the gospel is to them that perish foolishness), thereby enabling the man to hear the Gospel with spiritually-alive ears so that Faith can come (faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God), and the man can believe, the Gospel, receive forgiveness of sins, Christ can dwell in his heart (which must be spiritually alive), and he can receive justification.

The man is the one doing the believing and receiving, God is the one that makes it possible. Man freely chooses to do so, because he has been made spiritually alive by the power and Grace of God, but he cannot do those things UNTIL he is FIRST made spiritually alive. Spiritually-dead men cannot believe savingly, cannot receive Christ into their hearts, and cannot be justified, because they are spiritually dead. No spiritually-dead man can ever do any act pleasing to God. Only spiritually-alive men can do so.

28 posted on 01/07/2004 2:28:18 AM PST by nobdysfool (All True Christians will be Calvinists in Glory)
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To: nobdysfool
I appreciate your reply. However, I'm not sure you addressed my questions as much as you restated your premise.

Can a man be saved without them?

It would appear that would be the case.

I say that because it is my understanding that for God to bring a man to perform a God-pleasing act then he is predestined for salvation. He is already saved no act is required or necessary or this would deny God's sovereignty.

If this is not the case than the works of man in some manner are required for salvation?

29 posted on 01/07/2004 3:50:09 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: lockeliberty; P-Marlowe
You would say: Man "lathers up" through his own personal response. I would say: God "lathers up" man so that he can respond. Does this accurately reflect our different perspectives?

No, it is not accurate.

I would exactly say the same: "God 'lathers up' man so that he can respond.

Where I perceive our difference is this:

You say: "God lathers up man and responds for the man, and it is a permanent lathering."

I say: "God 'lathers up' man so that he can respond, and then the man is able to make the choice for permanent 'lathering.'"

I'm not sure that this is what P-Marlowe would say.

30 posted on 01/07/2004 4:45:50 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: xzins
I say: "God 'lathers up' man so that he can respond, and then the man is able to make the choice for permanent 'lathering.'"

So man can resist the call of God.

31 posted on 01/07/2004 4:58:56 AM PST by Wrigley
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To: Wrigley
No. Man cannot resist prevenient grace. It is given to every man who comes into the world.

The Lord does not force regenerative/saving/justifying grace on anyone, though. It follows from the acceptance of the new covenant. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.
32 posted on 01/07/2004 5:06:23 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: PFKEY; drstevej; Wrigley; Alex Murphy; Gamecock; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Frumanchu; CCWoody; ...

Can a man be saved without them?

It would appear that would be the case.

I say that because it is my understanding that for God to bring a man to perform a God-pleasing act then he is predestined for salvation. He is already saved no act is required or necessary or this would deny God's sovereignty.

Actually the answer to your questions are contained within my premise, if you look. I will attempt to expand on it a little. Even though a man is predestined for salvation, he still must be brought by God to ability to perform the actions that obtain salvation for that man. Predestination does not mean that it is already done, only that it will be done.

If this is not the case than the works of man in some manner are required for salvation?

Not REQUIRED in the sense that it is those works themselves that save him, but they are the natural actions of a spiritually-alive man. God resuscitating the man's heart makes it possible for the man to perform actions pleasing to God. The very first of those acts is to believe on Christ, which results in eternal life.

The mistake is thinking that the actions themselves save, or that God's Predestination itself saves, apart from the work of Christ, or from God's resuscitation of the sinner's heart. Man cooperates in the sense that he freely chooses Christ, AFTER he has first been resucitated by God to be ABLE to cooperate. This is where the Arminians miss it. They believe that God has already provided all that is necessary for man to choose Christ, WITHOUT the specific and individual resuscitation of the sinner's heart by God prior to belief. They believe that the sinner first believes, which then resuscitates his heart, something akin to a patient in cardiac arrest applying the paddles to himself to restart his own heart.

The works themselves do not cause salvation. They are evidence that salvation has occurred. As James says, "faith without works is dead, being alone. Show me your faith apart from works, and I will show you my faith BY my works."

33 posted on 01/07/2004 5:19:41 AM PST by nobdysfool (All True Christians will be Calvinists in Glory)
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To: xzins
A question if I may.

Where are these different graced derived?

prevenient
regenerative
saving
justifying

How are they defined?

When are they applied?

What conditions are present for their application?


34 posted on 01/07/2004 5:20:45 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: xzins; drstevej; Wrigley; Alex Murphy; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Gamecock; CCWoody; Frumanchu; ...
You say: "God lathers up man and responds for the man, and it is a permanent lathering."

Maybe you want to think that's what we're saying, but no Calvinist has ever said that God responds for the man. That is a gross misrepreentation of the Calvinist position, and I think you know that it is. I expect a little more accuracy from you than that, xzins. As long as we've been discussing it, you know that is not what we say.

35 posted on 01/07/2004 5:27:08 AM PST by nobdysfool (All True Christians will be Calvinists in Glory)
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To: nobdysfool
actions that obtain salvation for that man.
Action but not works obtain salvation?

Predestination does not mean that it is already done, only that it will be done.

Done on what conditions or at what time?

Not REQUIRED in the sense that it is those works themselves that save him...The very first of those acts is to believe on Christ, which results in eternal life.

Is not this act of believing required for eternal life/salvation or are eternal life and salvation different?

The mistake is thinking that the actions themselves save, or that God's Predestination itself saves, apart from the work of Christ, or from God's resuscitation of the sinner's heart. Man cooperates in the sense that he freely chooses Christ, AFTER he has first been resucitated by God to be ABLE to cooperate.

I'm afraid I am missing something here too.
Is it not God's will?
Predestination is not sufficient.
Christ works are not sufficient.
Man or his works are not sufficient.

God needs mans cooperation to be able to affect his soviergn will?

God needed to have Christ's works to enable his sovereign will?

God needed his own predestination of the elect to grant his sovereign will?

The works themselves do not cause salvation. They are evidence that salvation has occurred.

Who requires this evidence?

Of what value is this evidence and to whom does it have value?

36 posted on 01/07/2004 5:51:38 AM PST by PFKEY
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To: nobdysfool; P-Marlowe
Actually, I don't know that. It might be a misrepresentation, but if it is, it isn't because I know that it is.

That is what I honestly conclude after combining the doctrines of pre-faith regeneration and irresistible grace together. Especially after our discussions of the philippian jailer, I've come to understand that you believe the new birth happens BEFORE a person becomes a believer.

37 posted on 01/07/2004 5:53:53 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: P-Marlowe; drstevej
I Cleansed Me from Sin



I praise You, O God!
For giving Me hope,
For Jesus Who died,
And left me the soap.

Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
I Cleansed me from sin.

We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
With prevenient eyesight

Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
I Cleansed me from sin.

All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
Yet I scrubbed every stain.

Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
I Cleansed me from sin.

Some glory and praise
To the God in my mind,
Who hast brought me, but taught me,
To scrub my be-hind.

Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Mine the glory.
Brought to you by drstevej courtesy of the....
Clear Channel
Woody.

38 posted on 01/07/2004 6:58:38 AM PST by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: P-Marlowe
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Come on counselor: They called you by their Gospel, they wrote it, not you! BTW, those are a couple of impressive proffs for Calvinism, thanks for posting them!

Once you are in the canon I will cut you some slack.

The Marlowe Theology library:

The Chick Tract is about a lawyer. What's up with that Marlowe?

The Calvinist Theology Library:


39 posted on 01/07/2004 7:02:54 AM PST by Gamecock (The Spirit of Piel is among us.)
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To: P-Marlowe; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; drstevej; RnMomof7; CARepubGal
BTW, Where do you hang "soap on a rope Jesus" when you don't need that user friendly omnibelevolent anthroprocentric politically correct deity you have invented?

Woody.
40 posted on 01/07/2004 7:10:53 AM PST by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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Argh! Hate it when I can't spell.
41 posted on 01/07/2004 7:14:09 AM PST by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: lockeliberty; xzins
If we are to make a "gospel is soap" analogy, then the Gospel itself is the soap. God brings man the soap and through his holy spirit he tells man that he is dirty and tells him that if he exercise a little faith and take the soap and lather up that he will be cleaned. He is asked to believe in the power of the soap to cleanse him. But men do not believe they are dirty. Even if men believe they are dirty, many refuse to use soap, thinking that they can get themselves clean without it. So they never take the soap and thus the soap is useless to them. Others may take the soap and rub it all over their body, but they still don't believe in the power of the soap and instead think that they must ritually rub soap all over themselves all the time in order to be cleaned and they never let God rinse it off and wash away the filth.

I think that ultimately it is irrelevant why someone will decide to pick up the soap and why they will lather up. The point is that unless a man picks up the soap, he will not be cleansed. God has placed the soap before you. It then becomes your responsibility to pick it up and to put the soap on your body. It is quite possible that many will actually pick up the soap, and may even pretend to put it all over their body, but they don't believe in the power of the soap, they believe in the power of themselves to get cleaned and the soap is just a step in the cleaning process and that they themselves must continually scrub themselves in order to be cleaned. Hence the soap itself just becomes additional dirt on their bodies.

But no, it is the power of the soap that brings you to the point where you can be cleaned and if you exercise a little faith and lather up believing in the power of the soap and allow God to wash you clean, then God will pour out his living water and wash you so that you will never get dirty again.

42 posted on 01/07/2004 7:17:15 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
Hey, Marlowe, I bet you can find that user friendly Jesus in the Virtual Church of Benevolent Dieties, Inc. It's just a guess since I couldn't find your invention in the Bible.

Perhaps, if you act now, you can be the first to come out with the "Soap on a Rope Jesus" stocking stuffers for next Christmas. And, if you are clever, you can get with the Catholics and market a few free indulgences in the special Ecumenical sham-Protestant/ not Evangelical/ Catholic gift set.

Woody.
43 posted on 01/07/2004 7:24:05 AM PST by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: P-Marlowe
Do you remember the old cartoon short by Terry-toons (?), I think, where the automatic laundromat has the hand that reaches out, grabs the clothes, dunks them, sends them on down the line to a whole series of scrubbings, rinsings, and buffings?

I never realized that was a calvinist cartoon. :>)
44 posted on 01/07/2004 7:32:49 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: P-Marlowe
Take a bath with the Lord! Clean your body and soul with the Jesus-on-A-Rope! Then, when you are done with Him, simply leave Him to hang and be about your business.

Act now, and for 3 easy payments of only $9.99, you too, can join the craze which helped spark the Reformation by indulging yourself the way your Papist spiritual fathers did.




The Makers of "Jesus-on-a-Rope" are not responsible for the misuse, lack of use, or the failure to get clean of any end user. You are solely responsible for doing the work of scrubbing yourself clean. Furthermore, should you soil yourself after you are clean, you will need to reapply. There are no warranties/ guarrantees/ or covenants, either expressed or implied. If you don't die clean, then don't come crying to Us.
45 posted on 01/07/2004 7:38:57 AM PST by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: CCWoody; P-Marlowe
An just look who is doing all the work, the sinner!


46 posted on 01/07/2004 7:48:58 AM PST by Gamecock (The Spirit of Piel is among us.)
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To: P-Marlowe
Its funny you post a simple gospel message and a lot of people just come unglued. Rather than look to the power of the gospel message itself, they look for heresies in every word nit picking every jot and tittle looking for something that they can point to as a hidden theological error and then miss the glorious picture that surrounds them.

My experience is that these sorts of objections always turn out this way.

I remember vehemently objecting to a praise/worship chorus we sang at Crusade, which contained the phrase, "My heart and flesh cry out for You, the Living God." That, I argued, flew in the face of "in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing" (Rom. 7:18). However... that phrase is almost an exact quote from Ps. 84:2. Oops....

What happened was my systematic theology had taken the place of Scripture in my mind. I believed, and still believe, in Total Depravity, so to suggest that the flesh (which I inadvertantly equated with the sinful nature -- and I'm certainly not alone) could desire God was unthinkable to me. Yet Scripture did so, and I got caught with my theological pants down.

As an aside, what can you tell me about Oklahoma's and Florida State's law schools?

47 posted on 01/07/2004 7:50:27 AM PST by jude24 ("Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything thats even REMOTELY true!" -- H. Simpson)
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To: P-Marlowe; xzins
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. (1 Tim. 4:10)

Preach it, Brethren. Press on.

48 posted on 01/07/2004 7:51:27 AM PST by Ex-Wretch
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To: Gamecock; P-Marlowe
Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Do you suppose that if you took the soap and cleaned someone else, sorta like a proxy Baptism, that the person that you scrubbed would also be clean? In that sense, Mormonism, Arminianism, & Catholicism aren't really all that far apart.

Woody.

P.S. Look at that shinny "facade of righteousness" halo on the guy's head.
49 posted on 01/07/2004 7:55:11 AM PST by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: nobdysfool; P-Marlowe
Unsaved men are captives to sin. As such, they CANNOT free themselves. That's why God must act first.

Then why does the Calvinist insist that before a man can be saved, that the man meditate on all his past sins prior to salvation. How is it, based on your reasoning that a man who is unsaved and cannot recognize his sins be able to meditate on them?

50 posted on 01/07/2004 7:58:54 AM PST by connectthedots
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