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A Defense of Monergistic Regeneration
monergism.com ^ | Gannon Murphy

Posted on 04/19/2012 7:20:55 PM PDT by armydoc

Is the saving grace of God irresistible or resistible? Moreover, is the regenerating power of God installed in the believer's life before or after the decision is made to receive Christ as Savior?

(Excerpt) Read more at monergism.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Theology
KEYWORDS:
Too lazy to format a lengthy cut 'n paste, so you are burdened with an extra mouse click if you want to read the whole thing. Enjoy.
1 posted on 04/19/2012 7:20:57 PM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc

God said he would not lose any that he has called his own.


2 posted on 04/19/2012 7:43:13 PM PDT by irishtenor (Everything in moderation, however, too much whiskey is just enough... Mark Twain)
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To: irishtenor

Amen fellow PCA RE, amen!


3 posted on 04/19/2012 7:50:44 PM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc

“Moreover, is the regenerating power of God installed in the believer’s life before or after the decision is made to receive Christ as Savior?”

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end. He’s the author and finisher of the believer’s faith. His sheep, chosen from the foundation of the world, hear His voice, they know Him and they follow Him. Knowing that His sheep will hear and believe in the day of His power should embolden all believers the utmost confidence to spread the gospel.


4 posted on 04/19/2012 8:18:37 PM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: .45 Long Colt

Well, my last comment should have ended with...”should embolden all believers to spread the gospel.”

I changed what I was saying and ended up with some extra words. Oh well, it should have been obvious what I was trying to say.


5 posted on 04/19/2012 8:23:16 PM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: armydoc

NC?
I’m in Seattle, Pacific Northwest Presbytery.


6 posted on 04/19/2012 9:26:38 PM PDT by irishtenor (Everything in moderation, however, too much whiskey is just enough... Mark Twain)
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To: irishtenor

Central Carolina Presbytery. My pastor started as an associate under Dr. Rayburn at Faith Presbyterian in Tacoma


7 posted on 04/20/2012 5:33:02 AM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc
So--your god creates eternal, living souls for the express purpose of throwing them into Hell?

Mine doesn't. But He does accept *our* decision to either go to Heaven or to Hell.

8 posted on 04/20/2012 5:54:05 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
So--your god creates eternal, living souls for the express purpose of throwing them into Hell?

I'll let St. Paul answer:

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory (Rom 9:20-23).

But He does accept *our* decision to either go to Heaven or to Hell.

In that case, you have reason to boast, for you had the innate wisdom and goodness to 'partner up' with God to achieve your salvation. Well done! As for me, I will boast of nothing but Christ. My only contribution to my salvation is my sin.
9 posted on 04/20/2012 6:16:25 AM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc
I'll let St. Paul answer:

I'm familiar with that passage. It does not say what you are trying to make it say.

'Why did you make me like this?' does not say "Why did you make me just to throw me into Hell? It does say "Like this", indicating our flaws and weaknesses that we must deal with and overcome to follow Christ.

"Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?"

Common use does not indicate the purpose of being thrown into Hell. It does mean one who follows, rather than one who is destined for "noble purpose" like Paul or the other Apostles.

In that case, you have reason to boast...

Nope, I don't. Christ does all the work. One does not boast for merely accepting a gift or following through with a covenant.

10 posted on 04/20/2012 6:24:50 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
Common use does not indicate the purpose of being thrown into Hell

Then what do you do with "prepared for destruction"?

Nope, I don't. Christ does all the work. One does not boast for merely accepting a gift or following through with a covenant.

But you had the wisdom and innate goodness not to reject that gift, unlike the losers that foolishly reject. Give yourself some credit. You've earned it!
11 posted on 04/20/2012 6:44:58 AM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc
But you had the wisdom and innate goodness not to reject that gift...

No more than anyone else. The grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

12 posted on 04/20/2012 8:10:51 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
No more than anyone else

If it is up to you to accept salvation, then by definition you are distinguishing yourself from those that reject. Call it wisdom or goodness or anything else; your position necessitates an innate difference between you and someone who rejects
13 posted on 04/20/2012 11:08:24 AM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc
....then by definition you are distinguishing yourself...

Do you know what "by definition" means? It's not whatever it is you are using. Everyone makes free will decisions. Some choose one way and some don't. The decision itself does not "distinguish" me from everyone else who makes the decision one way or another.

14 posted on 04/20/2012 11:12:07 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: armydoc

I noticed you very deliberately did not respond to the second sentence in my post.


15 posted on 04/20/2012 11:14:29 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
Yes, I know what "by definition" means. In the case of salvation, two groups are necessarily distinguished; that is made distinct from each other. In this case the distinguishing feature is the acceptance or rejection of salvation. The critical question is on what basis is the decision made? Invoking "free will" doesn't answer the question. "Free will" is not a random number generator; it does not itself choose. The actual choice is still made based on some intrinsic property of the person exercising "free will". As an aside, it is amazing how synergists will desperately cling to the idol of "free will" at the expense of God's sovereignty
16 posted on 04/20/2012 11:31:24 AM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc
As an aside, it is amazing how synergists will desperately cling to the idol of "free will" at the expense of God's sovereignty

It is even more amazing that monergists worship such a small god that He cannot be sovereign in a universe full of truly free wills.

17 posted on 04/20/2012 11:34:07 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

Wow, there’s a new spin! God giving up an aspect of his sovereignty makes him “bigger”? OK then. BTW, congratulations on choosing God! He is so very pleased you made the right choice. I am sure there was some hand-wringing and nail biting in Heaven before you exercised your “free will”!


18 posted on 04/20/2012 11:52:53 AM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc

Who said anything about Him “giving up an aspect of His sovereignty”? He’s still completely sovereign.


19 posted on 04/20/2012 12:02:26 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: armydoc
I am sure there was some hand-wringing and nail biting in Heaven before you exercised your “free will”!

Probably not, but there was a celebration after it was exercised!

20 posted on 04/20/2012 12:04:26 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
He’s still completely sovereign

I think perhaps you are confused regarding the definition of "sovereignty". Delegation of a decision to your "free will" (if that's your position) contradicts the "complete sovereignty" of God. In that case, you are sovereign regarding the outcome of that decision.
21 posted on 04/20/2012 12:17:04 PM PDT by armydoc
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To: ShadowAce
there was a celebration after it was exercised!

Indeed, brother! You have cause to exalt your most excellent decision!
22 posted on 04/20/2012 12:21:10 PM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc
I'm not confused at all.

Christ was both fully human and fully God--another seeming contradiction, but with God, all things are possible.

Don't forget that Christ taught free will through the parable of the Prodigal Son. Free will is assumed and mentioned more times in the Scriptures than not (The whole command to repent is based on the concept of free will). So we must believe that it exists. How we reconcile that with the teachings from Romans about predestination can get quite tricky.

I'm not saying predestination doesn't exist, I'm saying that it doesn't exist in the form that monergists want to say it is.

23 posted on 04/20/2012 12:36:51 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
I think part of the problem is the failure to understand that God, in his absolute sovereignty, ordains both the end and the means to that end. Acts 27 illustrates this nicely:

21The men of the boat had not eaten anything for a long time. Then Paul stood up and said, `Sirs, you should have listened to me and not left Crete. But you did leave. So you have had much trouble and have lost all these things. 22Now I tell you to be glad. Not one of you will die. Only the boat will break and be lost. 23I belong to God and worship him. Last night his angel stood before me. 24He said, "Paul, do not be afraid. You must stand before Caesar. And see, God has given you the lives of all these men who are travelling with you." 25So be glad, sirs. I believe God. It will be just the way he told me. 26However, we will have to go on an island.' 27On the fourteenth night we were being blown across the Adrian Sea. About midnight the boatmen thought that we must be near some land. 28So they tested how deep the water was there. They found that the line went down twenty arm lengths. A little later they tested and found that it was only fifteen arm lengths deep. 29Then they were afraid that we would hit the rocks. There were four heavy iron hooks called anchors. They let them down into the water at the back end of the boat. Then they wished that morning would come. 30The boatmen wanted to get off and leave the boat. They even put down the small boat into the water. They said they were going to put more anchors out from the front of the big boat. 31But Paul said to the officer and soldiers, `If these men do not stay on the boat, you cannot be saved.' 32Then the soldiers cut the ropes holding the small boat and let the water carry it away. 33When it was almost morning, Paul begged them all to eat. He said, `Today is the fourteenth day that you have been watching and have not eaten anything. 34So now, I beg you, eat something. You need it to make you strong so you can save yourselves. Not one of you will lose even one hair from your head.' 35When he had said this, he stood in front of them all. He took some bread and thanked God for it. Then he broke it and began to eat it. 36Then they all were glad and ate some food themselves. 37In all, we were 276 people on the boat. 38They ate all they wanted. Then they threw the grain into the water, so that the boat would not be so heavy. 39In the morning they saw land. But they did not know what country it was. They saw a sandy place. So they talked it over and thought they would try to get the boat on it. 40They cut off the anchors and left them in the water. At the same time, they untied the wood that guided the boat. They put up the big sail to catch the wind and tried to get the boat onto that sandy place. 41But they came to a place where there was sand under the water. The boat stuck in it. The front end stuck so badly that they could not make it go. The back end began to break up because the water beat it so hard. 42The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners so that none of them would swim to land and run away. 43But the officer wanted to save Paul, so he stopped the soldiers. He told the people, `Those of you who can swim, jump into the water first and get to the land. 44Then the rest of you jump in and go on planks and other pieces of the boat.' So in this way they all got to the land safely.

So God tells Paul that all the men will live. Paul then tells the men that if they leave the boat they will die. Which is it? Both, of course. God ordained the end (the men surviving) and the means (staying on the boat). Why didn't Paul just relax, knowing that everyone was going to survive? Because the ordained means to the end were absolutely necessary. This passage is unusual in that we get to see the end (God's decree) as well as the means. Most of scripture speaks of the means only. Regarding the salvation of any particular individual, we are not privy to God's decree (whether the person is elected for salvation or damnation). That is God's business. What we can be sure of is that the ordained, necessary means to salvation include repentance and faith. Fortunately, these means are ordained to occur in the elect. No "free will" involved. In the end, monergism vs synergism should not have an affect on our day to day behavior. We let God's business be God's business and we concern ourselves with being obedient to scripture. I hang on to monergism because I am convinced that it is scriptural and most fully expresses God's sovereignty and man's pitiful, helpless state. Thanks for the discussion, brother!
24 posted on 04/20/2012 1:29:28 PM PDT by armydoc
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To: armydoc

I know him well. Actually a friend of mine of FB.


25 posted on 04/20/2012 3:55:40 PM PDT by irishtenor (Everything in moderation, however, too much whiskey is just enough... Mark Twain)
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