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Jesus Teaches that Regeneration Precedes Faith
Monergism.com ^ | John Hendryx

Posted on 06/04/2013 7:26:39 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans

Jesus Teaches that Regeneration Precedes Faith

by John Hendryx

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"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." (John 6:37)

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But there are some of you who do not believe ...And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." (John 6:63, 65)

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According to Scripture, all people are born dead in sin (Eph 2:1). This simply means that, as a result of the Fall, people are born without the Holy Spirit and therefore, (left to themselves and being spiritually dead) are hostile to Christ (Rom. 8:7) and unable to understand to spiritual things (1 Cor 1:21). It does not mean they can do (or think) nothing in their fallen state, but it means they can do nothing spiritual or redemptive ... that they will always think God's word is foolish (1 Cor 2:14) until the Holy Spirit, who comes from the outside, works grace in their hearts (Ezek 11:19-20). The natural man may be alive to carnal things, but he is dead to spiritual things. So to the question: can any person come to faith in Christ apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, both the Arminian and the Calvinist would definitively answer "no". The Arminian asserts that this work of the Holy Spirit (this "prevenient grace" that temporarily gives the power of free choice) is ultimately resistible by the fallen sinner. Arminian's affirm that man, apart from grace, hates the light and will not come into the light. And because of this, the Spirit grants them a kind of post-regenerate - pre-conversion state where he is, for a time, lifted out of his moral depravity and given the opportunity to receive or reject the free offer of Christ in the gospel. To be a just God, most Arminians reason, God must give all people an equal opportunity to choose whether to believe or not. And this opportunity is granted, they claim, through prevenient grace. As most Arminians will admit, however, this "semi-regenerate" state is logically, rather than exegetically deduced. On the other hand, the Calvinist is convinced that the Bible teaches that regenerative grace itself opens our blind eyes, unplugs our deaf ears and gives us a new heart (Ezek 36:26, John 6:63) making God's call effectual, infallibly bringing the sinner to faith in Jesus Christ.

Arminian synergists assert that prevenient grace resolves the problem of human boasting since God initiates with grace. But in reality this sleight of hand does not resolve the problem at all and only begs the question. For if God gives this prevenient grace to everybody, we must ask: why do some respond positively to Christ and not others? What makes them to differ? Jesus Christ or something else? The problem of boasting is not removed, for if God gives grace to everybody and only some believe, then the heart that believes still thinks that it made the wiser decision by improving on grace while others did not. The person affirming prevenient grace still must ultimately attribute his repenting and believing to his own wisdom, prudence, sound judgment, or good sense. So in the Arminian belief system, they are not willing to confront the obvious question of why some believe and not others? The only answer I have ever heard to this question in all my years debating this was "because some believed". But, this avoids the question, because I did not ask them what they did, but why they did it? And the "why" seems to be a question that Jesus goes out of his way to answer. (John 8:46-47 & John 10:26)

There are many texts which affirm beyond doubt that regeneration is indeed monergistic ... that the implanting of the new heart is what gives rise to understanding, love of Christ and faith. One of the most important discussions in the Bible about this is where Jesus was speaking to some fellow Jews who did not believe in him (John 6:64) . He said to them:

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” ( 6:37) ”

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. (John 6:44)

"… no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." ( 6:65)

The reason I bring these three verses to your attention is because, they are spoken in the same context (John 6) and in this long discussion with Jesus and the Jews about faith these three verses are essentially speaking of the same issue. In fact they share more than one thing in common. They all use the phrase "come to me" and they each make a universal declaration ("no one" or "all"). When read in context the phrase "come to me" is spoken in the same breath as the word "faith". It is a synonym. Likewise the phrase "draws him" is used in parallel with the phrase "gives me" or "granted him". Our Lord declares that "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. (John 6:44) and "All that the Father gives me [draws to Me] will come to me." (John 6:37). In other words, the passage simply states that no one will trust in or have faith in Jesus unless God grants it (John 6:65), and ALL to whom God grants (or gives/draws to Jesus) will believe. Not some of them, but all of them. This universal positive and universal negative means that we are forced to conclude that all that God draws to Jesus infallibly come to faith in him.

Just to demonstrate that "come to me" is identical to "faith" see that just prior to verse 37 Jesus says, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.” Here we observe that Jesus uses the phrase “believe in me” and “come to me” interchangeably. Even more clear is that the context of John 6:63-65 forces us to understand "come to me" to mean "believe in me" or "have faith in me". In verse 64 Jesus says, "But there are some of you who do not believe " For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

If we place these statements all together, (understanding that "come to me" and "believe in me" are synonymous), then the magnitude of the Jesus' words become evident, for it allows for no synergistic interpretation. And what does this have to do with regeneration? Well in verse 6:63 Jesus directly alludes to it: "It is the Spirit that quickens [gives life, regenerates]... No one will believe in Me unless God grants it... and ALL to whom God grants it will believe”. Jesus is making sure that no one thinks that anything apart from Jesus is what saves them. That even the very new heart we need to understand spiritual truth, love Jesus and believe is itself a gift of God. This text leaves no room for any other interpretation. This is profoundly important because it creates the inescapable conclusion that the quickening grace of God is invincible. This is why just prior to saying “no one can come to me UNLESS God grants it”, Jesus says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail.” This means that it is the Spirit who raises our dead spirits to life, makes us born from above John 3:3, 6. The flesh, that is, our sinful nature, cannot regenerate itself and can do no redemptive good of itself, including believe the gospel until quickened by the Holy Spirit.

Faith, Jesus is saying, is not a product of our unregenerate human natures; It is, rather, the product of new life that only He can give us through the quickening work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit alone who, uniting us to Christ, gives life to our dead souls that we may believe. Jesus is affirming the same truth to Nicodemus in John 3, using the same type of language. In verse 6 Jesus tells him, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” And unless one is born of the Spirit he can neither see nor enter the kingdom of God. Jesus never gives Nicodemus an imperative (command) to be born again, but instead, tells him what must happen to him for eternal life to be a reality. Belief springs from a change of nature, for the old man considers the gospel foolish and thus cannot comprehend it (1 Cor 2:14).

This does away completely also with the Arminian argument where they point to John 10, where Jesus says "when I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself". While we already demonstrated that "draw him" (v. 44) is parallel with "gives me" (v. 37) because it is spoken in the same context with multiple parallelisms so we concluded that ALL the Father gives (draws to) Christ come to him. But the Arminain must reach outside of this passage (out of context) to a completely different situation where Greeks approach Jesus. There is no indication that Jesus is referring to the same issue. In fact, when read in context, Jesus is telling them that he is fulfilling the promise to Abraham that he would become a father of many nations. Not only Jews but gentiles will be included, so Jesus is establishing that He will draw (not all men without exception) but all men without distinction (Jews and Gentiles). He is announcing that his coming coincides with the expansion of God's kingdom to include Gentiles, in large measure.

On a side note, it is interesting to note that the passage on regeneration in John 6:63-65 is one of the most explicitly Trinitarian passages in all of Scripture. It speaks of this work as the powerful, supernatural work of the Triune God. The Father grants faith in Christ the redeemer (John 6:65), through the quickening of the Holy Spirit by means of the spoken word (John 6:63). So the Spirit is the Agent and the word is the instrument used to germinate spiritual life in us, apart from which, no one would believe (V.65).

I have often heard preachers say to people, “all you need to do is believe,” as if this were the easiest thing in the world, but the natural man is unwilling to submit to the gospels' humbling terms. It is a massive affront to our pride to believe that we have no hope save in Jesus alone. J.I. Packer once wisely said, "Sinners cannot obey the gospel, any more than the law, without renewal of heart." We see this at work in this passage when, at the end of John chapter six many of those who previously were with Jesus left because his teaching was too hard, and only the twelve were left. Peter confesses belief however, and Jesus says to him, “…have I not chosen you?” But what is so hard about this passage that everyone else leaves Jesus? It is hard because the gospel of grace alone strips man of all hope that he could have to contribute something, be it ever so small, to his own salvation. Never underestimate the reality of our sinful nature deceiving us this way. The gospel forces us to see our own spiritual impotence and bankruptcy in contributing anything, or even lifting a finger toward our own salvation. But of those who do believe the gospel, we can know with certainty that the Holy Spirit has quickened them and is doing a work of grace in them. Trusting Christ is the immediate result of the new birth, not the cause of it, as John notes in his first epistle:

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God” (1 John 5:1)

It is also important to further understand that Jesus “will never cast out [those the Father has given Him].” (John 6:37). According to Jesus, those whom He draws are the same as those he will raise up at the last day (John 6:44). This is important because those who reject the perseverance of the saints, believing that Christ does not preserve us to the end, are in effect saying that we must somehow maintain our own justification before God. This is to believe that Jesus’ atonement for us is not sufficient for salvation.

This passage (John 6) is one of the most forceful passages in all of Scripture relating to the invincibility of saving grace. The grace of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not only sufficient but efficient, unfailingly bringing about God’s desired result. We may resist the gospel when hearing the outward call and even resist stirrings of the Holy Spirit, but no one resists the inward quickening and call of God (Rom 8:30; 1 Cor 1:22-24). In the Old Testament sometimes God would discipline Israel by telling them their crops would fail even though they labored to sow seed. This is proof that all that we do in this world, such as planting crops, requires the prior blessing of God if it is to be fruitful.

Similarly Paul uses an agricultural metaphor when speaking of casting the seed of the gospel. He says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” This means that people need to hear the gospel in order to be saved, but we can preach till we are blue in the face and nothing will take root unless the Holy Spirit sovereignly applies that word to the heart that one might hear.

To use some biblical imagery, we cast the seed of the gospel indiscriminately because the Holy Spirit alone can “germinate” the word unto life in Christ. The fallow ground of our hearts must first be plowed up by God, for the soil of our heart is not good by nature, but only by grace. The seed will not find good soil until God makes it so. For Ezekiel the prophet says:

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

Notice that this passage demonstrates that in order for obedience to take place the Lord must first cleanse our hearts, put a new spirit in us and remove our hardened uncircumcised heart. No one believes and obeys while their heart is still stone. Our blind eyes must be opened, our deaf ears unstopped, and our corrupt nature supernaturally changed by the Holy Spirit, before we can begin to have any good thoughts about Christ. The Bible likens the new birth, or regeneration, to the first creation (2 Cor. 5:17). God let light shine into what was darkness. And God breathed life into lifeless man and then man, because of the new principle of life now within him, breathed and walked. Likewise regeneration can be likened to God's first breath in man, and faith, to Adam's first breath. The former is monergistic and the later, while it springs from the principle of grace that now exists within, is participatory. Both the creation and the maintaining are all of grace, but only God's breathing life into us (ex nihilo) is monergistic (that is, it is the work of God alone). When God brings forth something out of nothing, it is monergistic, but when we breathe (or have faith) as a result of God's act, we are now participating, so by definition this is not monergistic, but all springs forth from God's initial monergistic act of giving life from nothing.

"Regeneration is the fountain; sanctification is the river." - J. Sidlow Baxter

"...since you have been born again [by the agency of the Spirit], not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God [instrument]" 1 Peter 1:23

Important note: Some who oppose the biblical teaching on monergistic regeneration will argue that this cannot be true because no one can be regenerate and not saved. If regeneration precedes faith, they reason, then there is a time, be it ever so short, where one is regenerate but does not yet believe. But this is to misunderstand what regeneration precedes faith actually means. It does not temporally precede faith but rather causally. What do I mean? An example would be one pool ball striking another. Does one ball temporally strike the other first. No they both hit one another simultaneously ... YET the one which rolls has causal priority. The same could be said of heat and fire. Likewise when God, the Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the word, opens our heart to the gospel and gives us new eyes to see the beauty, truth and excellency of Christ, our response is immediate.

"No sooner is the soul quickened, than it at once discovers its lost estate, is horrified thereat, looks for a refuge, and believing Christ to be a suitable one, flies to him and reposes in him." -C.H. Spurgeon

"Faith in the living God and his Son Jesus Christ is always the result of the new birth, and can never exist except in the regenerate. Whoever has faith is a saved man." C.H. Spurgeon


TOPICS: Apologetics; Theology
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1 posted on 06/04/2013 7:26:39 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Amen!

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (Romans 9:16)


2 posted on 06/04/2013 7:41:53 PM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Interesting. I guess God really IS a respector of persons, since he picks and chooses who receives the Holy SPirit.


3 posted on 06/04/2013 7:57:54 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: Bryan24

“Interesting. I guess God really IS a respector of persons, since he picks and chooses who receives the Holy SPirit.”


A respecter of persons suggests that He is picking someone based on their wealth, or other superficial standards:

Jas 2:1-2 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. (2) For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

God, instead, chooses us despite out works and persons:

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Rom 9:11-16 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) (12) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. (13) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (14) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. (15) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.


4 posted on 06/04/2013 8:03:19 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

He’s pickin and choosin... according to that Henryckson guy.

Heaven or hell...


5 posted on 06/04/2013 8:06:07 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: Bryan24

“He’s pickin and choosin... according to that Henryckson guy.

Heaven or hell...”


According to Jesus Christ. Though, technically, on the part of the unregenerate, all God is doing is passing them by. They need no special push from God to be what they are. When they sin, they sin of their own accord. It is a testament to the evil of man that it is necessary for God to draw us and change our hearts so that we believe.

Rom 3:9-12 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.


6 posted on 06/04/2013 8:08:48 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Regeneration Precedes Faith.....and occurs irrespective of the preached word....


7 posted on 06/04/2013 8:09:37 PM PDT by Hardshell
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
...when God, the Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the word, opens our heart to the gospel and gives us new eyes to see the beauty, truth and excellency of Christ, our response is immediate.

Some have their eyes opened in ways other than the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul is a good example.

8 posted on 06/04/2013 8:14:13 PM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: Hardshell

“Regeneration Precedes Faith.....and occurs irrespective of the preached word....”


I’d be careful with phrasing like that, since it seems to put Gospel Preaching out of business. The scripture is clear that faith (which is the gift of the Holy Spirit) comes by hearing the word of God:

Rom_10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Therefore, of those gentiles who were ordained to eternal life, they believed at the preaching of the Apostles.

Act_13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Thus, though they are ordained to believe, the Holy Spirit used the preached words of the Gospel to achieve His purpose. Therefore, we must always be preaching the Gospel, as it is our duty and the plan of God for us to do so.


9 posted on 06/04/2013 8:15:56 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: randog; Hardshell

“Some have their eyes opened in ways other than the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul is a good example.”


This is a good point. I would say that God can reach out to anyone at any time in His own way to gather His elect. However, I would be wary against saying it in such a way that others are excused for not preaching the Gospel or not being zealous for it. As, at the very least, the usual means is through the preaching of the word.

Though, when I think about it, it would be fair to say that every “usual” conversion is a miraculous work of God, just like Paul’s meeting with Christ on the road to Damascus.


10 posted on 06/04/2013 8:24:55 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Bryan24

Bryan,
actually it shows the opposite of what you said...If God chooses someone He does so according to His choice irrespective of the individual. Reformed theology implies that man is dead in sin and can not save himself since there is nothing good in him according to Gods perspective. Therefore when God chooses an individual He does knowing this and regenerates them which allows them to exercise saving faith. He will do this for the rich man, the poor man anyone whom He wills. Therefore it has nothing to do with man since by nature we would reject Him. So God is as not a respector of persons but instead chooses whom He disires.


11 posted on 06/04/2013 8:31:04 PM PDT by polishprince
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Sometimes, and most of the time God chooses the worst, the most wretched of the lot to save to show the Glory of his grace.
12 posted on 06/04/2013 10:47:26 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: polishprince
If God chooses individuals for regeneration with no concern for anything regarding that individual’s beliefs, choices, thoughts, character or actions then for what conceivable reason does God choose one person over another?
13 posted on 06/04/2013 10:49:51 PM PDT by Pres Raygun (It's the economy stupid.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
For those who like the brow beat St. Paul and call him a heretical teacher must also rule out the books of Luke and Mark for Luke and Mark were associates and contemporaries of Paul.
I would even go a step farther and submit that St. Paul had a hand in helping in the writings of the books of Luke and Mark.
The reasons I say this is because we have those who say to those who trust in God's grace and God's grace is such a central theme of the Gospel of Christ and Paul's teachings as " Paulines " false teachers.
14 posted on 06/04/2013 10:52:30 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: American Constitutionalist

The Gospel of Paul, really, is the Gospel of the whole scripture! Such “anti-Paulines,” as I’ve seen these sorts before, would have to cut out a lot more books than just the Epistles of Paul to be rid of his theology.


15 posted on 06/04/2013 10:53:57 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Bryan24
And since God created all things and this universe and he is the ruler of this universe why is it such a problem and stumbling block to believe that God does choose some and not choose others ?
16 posted on 06/04/2013 10:54:24 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
The reason why some can't except the doctrine of election is because they refuse to see how depraved the human nature really is.
There is no inherent good in humans as far as God's perspective is and no amount of keeping the law or doing good with make you acceptible in God's sight, never.
17 posted on 06/04/2013 10:57:27 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: polishprince
Jacob is the best example of that... God choose him in spite the fact he was a rascal, liar, trickster.
18 posted on 06/04/2013 11:00:09 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: polishprince
If someone could save themselves ? then ? they would not have need of a Savior.
19 posted on 06/04/2013 11:01:43 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Pres Raygun
The hidden things belong to God and what God has revealed to us is for our knowledge.
The answer to that question belongs to God.. none of us would ever have a good answer to that one.
20 posted on 06/04/2013 11:04:10 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
I would not call it the " Gospel of Paul " for the whole word of God is God's.
The theology of Paul ? once again, Paul gained that understanding from God himself and ? Paul was well taught in the Hebrew writings, and he also was a teacher of the law.
The point I was trying to make here is we have those anti-Paulites trying to say that Paul was a false teacher because he taught so much on God's grace and then go into what Christ himself had to say about damnation, judgment.
The point I was making was ? they would like to rule out 2/3s of the new Testament by disregarding Paul's writings and teaching, but yet ? Paul was a associate and contemporary of Dr. Luke, and St. Mark.
Paul even mention those 2 in one of his writings.
Now would it be to far fetched to think and believe that Paul may have had a help in helping Dr. Luke and St. Mark write their books also ?
If anything ? The Aposple Paul had a influance on Dr. Luke and St. Mark.
21 posted on 06/04/2013 11:12:35 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Pres Raygun

“If God chooses individuals for regeneration with no concern for anything regarding that individual’s beliefs, choices, thoughts, character or actions then for what conceivable reason does God choose one person over another?”


The exact reasons we are never told. It is simply a fact. All that the Lord reveals to us on the matter is that it is according to “His grace and purpose” or His “pleasure” that He decides to pluck His own peculiar people from the fire.

God has always chosen, according to His own purpose, a peculiar people for Himself. He chose the seed of Abraham instead of any other seed in the world to accomplish His purposes and be His people. He never revealed Himself to the Greeks in any special way, or the Vikings or anyone else, giving them Prophets and special care and protection. This was to the Jews only, and not to any other.


22 posted on 06/04/2013 11:19:00 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

The anti-Paulites would have to also rule out the Gosples of Mark and Luke... that’s half of the 4 Gosples.


23 posted on 06/04/2013 11:19:21 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
The Arminian theology was established well after the early church's main doctrines and theology was settled.
The Arminian theology is " hath God said " .
24 posted on 06/04/2013 11:21:12 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: American Constitutionalist

“I would not call it the “ Gospel of Paul “ for the whole word of God is God’s.
The theology of Paul ? once again, Paul gained that understanding from God himself and ? Paul was well taught in the Hebrew writings, and he also was a teacher of the law.”


Don’t worry, I agree with you. I could have been clearer though originally. My position is that the “Gospel” of Paul is the same one given to us by all the Apostles, who all received the same message from God.

The “anti-Paulites,” as absurd as they are, would have to remove a whole lot more than just the works of Paul. Notice this particular thread is analyzing a chapter out of John. Thus, they would have to add to the list John the Apostle as well to those they ban. And we could keep on doing it to others, like Peter, who refer to the epistles of Paul as Holy scripture (2 Pe 3:15-16). The anti-Paulites, logically, would be left with no Bible at all at the end of the process.


25 posted on 06/04/2013 11:24:21 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
I could go into why God chose to save Noah and his family over all the rest of the humans who were on Earth at that time but, then ? that would be considered stuff you would hear on Coast to Coast Am with Art Bell.
The reason ? the theory I heard is ? because Noah and his 3 sons and families was because the human race have so polluted the gene pool and DNA with those fallen angles that God had to wipe the polluted gene pool and DNA out.
Noah and his family's DNA was pure and the Anointed One, the Messiah blood line had to come from a pure blood line.
26 posted on 06/04/2013 11:25:47 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Another thing those Anti-Paulines choose to forget and disregard is that the major Apostles Church elders meet with Paul and approved of his teachers and affirmed that he was the real deal.
It went even farther than that ? Peter told him that Peter would be the great Apostle over the house of Israel and Paul would be the great apostles over the gentiles.
Those anti-Paulines are wolves in sheep's clothing and are the false teachers of our day.
Can't have more of a greater stamp of approval then from God himself and from Peter and the other Apostles, I don't know how those who call Paul a false teacher can get around that one, unless ? they are lying to you.
27 posted on 06/04/2013 11:30:48 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
" The “anti-Paulites,” as absurd as they are, would have to remove a whole lot more than just the works of Paul. Notice this particular thread is analyzing a chapter out of John. Thus, they would have to add to the list John the Apostle as well to those they ban. And we could keep on doing it to others, like Peter, who refer to the epistles of Paul as Holy scripture (2 Pe 3:15-16). The anti-Paulites, logically, would be left with no Bible at all at the end of the process. "

Anti-Paulines, Swiss cheese Pretzel logic.
28 posted on 06/04/2013 11:33:20 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
I was even called a heretic because I said for those who are in Christ ? who trust in Christ ? for it's a utter impossibility for those who trust in Christ to ever go to hell.

Romans 8 verse 1 :
8. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Oh yeah, those heretic hunters ? when Paul says ( by the way ? isn't it amazing how they cheery pick Pauls teachings to condemn and teach the salvation by the law teachings with this ? ) who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
They go on how this is talking about those who walk in SIN SIN SIN ! I TELL YA SIN !

No, nope, nada, it does not talk about SIN SIN SIN SIN !

It's talking about the " carnal " human natural, i.e. human efforts, human strength.
Trying to keep the law in a effort to win or gain your salvation is being " Carnal " .
But, God's word says that the carnal mind is at war, at emmity against God.
So ? what does those who walknot after the flesh but after the spirit mean ? it mean's being spiritual, the spirit of grace.
It means ? walking in the spirit of grace, God's grace, and not in your own human reasoning and trying to keep the law or do good works.
29 posted on 06/04/2013 11:43:27 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: American Constitutionalist
True, there is much if not an infinite amount of knowledge that God knows that we do not know. I do believe though that the Bible teaches that God is a God of logic and truth and that the knowledge God has revealed to us is logical, rational and free from contradiction.

The problem I have with the idea that God regenerates us, which then in turn causes saving faith is that His choice in this matter has to be at least in part random or capricious. Surely God considers everything He knows when making any decision even if He has predetermined to discount certain categories of His knowledge in making a particular decision, such as whether or not to regenerate a person. In my limited mind there are only five potential categories of knowledge God has of individuals on which to base His decision regarding regeneration. 1) Our sin and sinful flesh, 2) good works 3) our amoral qualities such as our physical appearance 4) expediency and 5) faith. Clearly the Bible teaches that our good works are inadequate and He does not choose based on our physical appearance.

God could choose the worst sinners of which Paul and I are chief, but clearly our experience tells us that God doesn't always choose the worst sinners over lessor sinners so that cannot be His basis for choosing. And with respect to expediency, surely a sovereign, omnipotent God never cuts corners. This leaves only faith as the basis for His decision unless His choice is completely random.

Faith seems to me to be both the logical answer and the clear Bible teaching as well. Faith is not a work and has no merit as Paul convincingly argues in Romans 4:1-8. In fact we all know this intuitively as Christians, because the act of placing our faith in Christ is an admission of our guilt, our sinfulness, and our compete inability to save ourselves and that we have no appeal other than the promise of Christ's saving work. Saving faith is the antithesis of merit and therefore can be God's reason for choosing who is regenerated and consequently saved while preserving His grace and mercy and justice.

30 posted on 06/05/2013 1:03:45 AM PDT by Pres Raygun (It's the economy stupid.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
See my response to American Constitutionalist in 30.

Yes God does choose for His purposes and His pleasure, but both of those involve reason and reason always must have some basis in His knowledge. God does not make any choice at random or for no reason or without any knowledge. Any decision He might make in choosing particular individuals must take into account at least one piece of knowledge He has of that individual. The Biblical answer is clearly that He takes into account who has faith in His Son as the only determining factor.

Since faith has no merit, then basing His decison on the individual's faith in Christ preserve salvation by grace alone.

31 posted on 06/05/2013 1:20:20 AM PDT by Pres Raygun (It's the economy stupid.)
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To: Pres Raygun

“The problem I have with the idea that God regenerates us, which then in turn causes saving faith is that His choice in this matter has to be at least in part random or capricious.”


The only conclusion one can gleam from the scripture is that God’s decision is unknown. We cannot conclude so blasphemous a thought that it was random or capricious:

2Ti_1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Why it is He ordained us to produce fruit, and that our fruit should remain, is totally in the mind of God. But that He has done it for His own “grace and purpose” cannot be denied.

“This leaves only faith as the basis for His decision unless His choice is completely random.”


The question then becomes, “Why did you have faith, and why did others not have faith?” If the answer is, “because I had better sense, I sought when they did not, I responded as the righteous man, in my humility and fear of God, and those who believe not are more obstinate than I,” then, ultimately, you were responsible for your own salvation. You chose Jesus Christ. Christ, however, is quite clear. We did not choose Him, He chose us:

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

And outside of God’s will, no man can believe in Christ:

Joh 6:64-65 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Notice He says “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given... of my Father” as an explanation for “But there are some of you that believe not.” The Jews did not disbelieve because they refused to be as righteous as you in choosing Christ. They disbelieved because they did not receive it from the Father.


32 posted on 06/05/2013 1:25:10 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Pres Raygun

“Yes God does choose for His purposes and His pleasure, but both of those involve reason”


So you confess that if He has a purpose and a pleasure in it, that therefore they must involve a reason. The only thing you don’t know is what exactly that “reason” is. You’ll have to wait to ask Him after death, though I suspect it’ll be clear by then.

“The Biblical answer is clearly that He takes into account who has faith in His Son as the only determining factor.”


In that event, then everyone would be drawn alike. But we know that is impossible, because the Jews were not drawn at all, as seen in John 6. They disbelieved not because they were drawn and rejected, but because they simply did not receive it of the Father. Therefore, this idea that God is choosing us based on us choosing Him, is totally undone from the beginning. (Well, so is the statement “You have NOT chosen me,” but I’m just adding upon it.)

I’ll also add that this also only works if faith does precede grace, or works without the aid of any other force. But the scripture is clear:

1Co_12:3 ... that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

And that no one can believe unless they are ordained:

Act_13:48 ... and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Notice they do not believe, and therefore are then ordained. They are ordained, and therefore they believe.


33 posted on 06/05/2013 1:29:18 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Pres Raygun
Well said.
From what I believe is that even faith is a gift from God and the bible tells us that Christ is the author and finisher of our faith.
Where the bible is not clear on things or understanding we will just have to believe it and take it by faith.
The doctrine of predestination tells us that we were chosen in Christ even before the foundations of this world.
This was even before anyone was created, formed, and before the fall of man.
34 posted on 06/05/2013 3:18:40 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: polishprince
If God chooses someone He does so according to His choice irrespective of the individual.

That makes no sense at all.

ALL Scripture is useful for teaching and there are passages that indicate that all CAN approach Him if we accept His conditions.

Every person has been shown saving grace.

35 posted on 06/05/2013 5:02:48 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: American Constitutionalist
...stumbling block to believe that God does choose some and not choose others ?

Because God is then creating people for the express purpose of sending them to Hell.

That is not the God I worship, full of grace, mercy and justice.

36 posted on 06/05/2013 5:04:29 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

I have experienced those so focused on the doctrine of election that they felt it unnecessary to preach the gospel, given their belief that God would save them anyhow. They thus forget, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? - Rom. 10:14. But, more to the point of this thread, in the previous verse we read, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The “Whosoever’s” of the bible insert a departure from man’s understanding of “the elect,” introducing an open to all view of salvation. How do we make these ideas jibe? I have often heard those speak about this using the imagery of a door into heaven, where, on the one side (facing mankind trapped in time and place) we read “Whosoever will” and on the other side of the door (having stepped through the door and into eternity), the glorified saint now reads “the elect of God” on the Heaven-side of the door.

To “over-emphasize” the doctrine of election (and I assert right now to any who might read here, that I say so with all humility and trusting that I am part of God’s elect, having received Christ as my Savior), to over-emphasize this point is to diminish (pervert?) the “Whosoever” aspect of God’s plan of salvation.

The first thing Christ did once He had chosen His disciples was to send them out into all of Israel with His message. One of the first things He told them upon His resurrection was to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. The last thing He spoke to them before His ascension into Heaven was to serve as witnesses of Him in Jerusalem and throughout the whole world. Election did not seem to be on the mind of Christ so much as “Whosoever will.”


37 posted on 06/05/2013 5:44:09 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: Pres Raygun

This is the crux of what I said...and us copied from my post
“Therefore when God chooses an individual He does knowing this and regenerates them which allows them to exercise saving faith. “

Works does not save the person...God chooses whom He wills according to His purpose. A great example is Paul...before he became a believer he was a persecutor and a murderer of Christians. There was nothing in him, nor us for that matter, that made him better than anyone else to be chosen by God..but due to grace and mercy God chooses some and bypasses others....His choice since we all deserve hell and damnation.
When God regenerates He gives us the capacity to believe in ahimsa and the Work of Christ and to come to a saving faith....not any faith in any god but rather to the faith in His Son. Apart from that grace and mercy no one, including myself, would ever believe


38 posted on 06/05/2013 8:17:49 AM PDT by polishprince
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To: American Constitutionalist

Amen to that


39 posted on 06/05/2013 8:17:49 AM PDT by polishprince
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To: ShadowAce

But no one will...that is the point...no one will accept His conditions because we are dead in sin and in reality hate God in our unregenerate state. So therefore we can never come to God UNLESS hHe draws us,,,in the Greek the word for the draw by God of the individual is literally the word DRAG. so man cannot come to Him on their own...God must initiate...coming to God is NOT synergistic in nature, where we cooperate, but is rather monergistic...where He predestines, chooses and hen draws the individual...


40 posted on 06/05/2013 8:32:02 AM PDT by polishprince
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To: MarDav

“I have experienced those so focused on the doctrine of election that they felt it unnecessary to preach the gospel”


And yet the greatest preachers in the world, and all of the reformers, all preached these doctrines. Gospel preaching isn’t taken out. After all, the Gentiles heard the preaching of the Gospel, and those who were ordained, believed.

Act_13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

“introducing an open to all view of salvation.”


Taken logically as a whole with all the scripture, we cannot conclude that God draws all men alike, since the Jews who disbelieved weren’t drawn at all. They simply did not receive it from the Father to believe in the first place.

Joh 6:64-65 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

So, if we take your position seriously, what you are basically proposing is that among those who DO receive it to believe, some of those will still NOT believe in Jesus Christ, and therefore will perish. Which makes one wonder what is the point in God revealing Himself to some, and not to others, in the first place.

I’ll also add one more observation. The existence of a command for all to believe, or any command at all, does not imply a moral ability in the hearer to obey it. After all, Christ tells people to “sin no more.” Yet, we know that this is impossible. He commands us to be “perfect” as our Father in heaven is “perfect,” yet this is not something that a person can accomplish using his own power. In fact, none of us even have any righteousness of our own. Our righteousness is imputed from Jesus Christ through faith. It is good to believe, and it is the 1st and great commandment, yet the scripture is clear that NO ONE seeks after God or loves Him:

Rom 3:9-11 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Yet, you would have us to believe that, yes, there are SOME people who do love God, who do seek Him, on some fundamental level that belongs wholly to them, which is NOT the work of God in regeneration.

But this, simply, is not what we are taught. God gives to us a new heart. This heart is not of our own doing, but is a complete change in the heart we had before.

Eze_36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

It is God by whom our works are wrought in the first place:

Isa_26:12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

We are told to “work out our salvation,” yet we are told both the will and the doing is wrought by God in the first place, since it is a heart given to us by God which desires to do these things, despite the sin in our members:

Php 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

And it is God who starts a work in us, and sees it through to completion:

Php_1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

There is no vain seeking after works in order to be chosen. We are chosen so that we produce fruit in the first place. Obedience, works, and faith are the direct product of the working of God who takes away our stony hearts and gives to us a new heart that is truly alive, born again through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, predestinated before the world began.

“Election did not seem to be on the mind of Christ so much as “Whosoever will.””


The doctrine of election was preached from the very beginning!

Joh_3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.


41 posted on 06/05/2013 3:13:49 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: American Constitutionalist

Acts 10:34 “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,”

Furthermore, if God is righteousness, and “in him there is no darkness at all” (John 1:5), then he would not willingly send anyone to hell. Peter even reveals that in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

If you think God willingly chooses to randomly send people to hell, you don’t understand the scriptures.


42 posted on 06/05/2013 3:28:40 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: Bryan24

“If you think God willingly chooses to randomly send people to hell, you don’t understand the scriptures.”


This isn’t a scriptural conclusion. You didn’t actually address the scriptures that have been presented or what has been told to you. No one is going to hell “randomly.” They’re going to hell because they are sinners. The fact is, this is true of all people. These scriptures here aren’t true JUST for the really bad people. It’s true for you and me before God snatches us out of the fire:

Rom 3:9-11 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Why is God unjust to condemn those who are utterly depraved to hell? If God is unjust in this, then He is unjust in creating anyone He knows in advance will never believe in Him and “choose life.”

But the true God is sovereign, and by His tender mercies has chosen for Himself from a fallen race His own peculiar people DESPITE their sins, just as He has always done from the very beginning. (Are the Jews a CHOSEN people or NOT?)


43 posted on 06/05/2013 3:38:44 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Bryan24
Interesting. I guess God really IS a respector of persons, since he picks and chooses who receives the Holy SPirit.

This statement reveals that you completely misunderstand "grace." It is precisely because God is no respecter of persons, but because of His grace that He chooses some and not others. It is His sovereign choice. No merit in a person influences God's choice to save, and nothing sinful in another that influences God's choice to allow some to remain in their unregenerate state. Remember John 1:12; those who did receive Christ did so, not because of their own will, or by any human motivation, but they were born, or received Christ, as a result of God's will (and this is referring to God's will of decree, or His sovereign will).

The Doctrines of Grace are richly displayed in John's Gospel. Another helpful passage in understanding this is Ephesians 1:3-11.

44 posted on 06/05/2013 3:40:04 PM PDT by good1 (Valiant for the Truth)
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To: American Constitutionalist
And since God created all things and this universe and he is the ruler of this universe why is it such a problem and stumbling block to believe that God does choose some and not choose others ?

But isn't that God's choice?

Eph. 2:8&9
Rom. 9:22-24
45 posted on 06/05/2013 3:44:35 PM PDT by ForAmerica (Texas Conservative Christian Black Man!)
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To: American Constitutionalist
The reason why some can't except the doctrine of election is because they refuse to see how depraved the human nature really is.
There is no inherent good in humans as far as God's perspective is and no amount of keeping the law or doing good with make you acceptible in God's sight, never.


I agree. No one can understand salvation until they understand how helpless and hopelessly lost man is by our nature and are in need of a savior. In Adam all die!

But there are groups that claim to be Christians that profess works are enough to please God. If that's true, why did Jesus Christ have to die?
46 posted on 06/05/2013 3:51:29 PM PDT by ForAmerica (Texas Conservative Christian Black Man!)
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To: American Constitutionalist
All we really know is that God made the choice because He wanted to, "who can slap His hand and say what have you done"?

But we also know that the Lord Jesus' bloodline went through Rahab the harlot too, she married Salmon and they had Boaz. Matt. 1:5
47 posted on 06/05/2013 4:03:23 PM PDT by ForAmerica (Texas Conservative Christian Black Man!)
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To: polishprince
But no one will

Scripture reference? I can point to at least one passage that says that spiritually dead people make the decision on their own, and God meets him after he starts that journey.

48 posted on 06/05/2013 4:45:13 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
As, at the very least, the usual means is through the preaching of the word.

I agree with you, I was just pointing out hearing the word of God and turning your life over to him is not the only way. You're right, God comes to us where we are planted. He used a very unconventional method on me. Regardless of how it happened, I am eternally grateful for the result, which is all that matters.

49 posted on 06/05/2013 5:01:14 PM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: Bryan24

Bryan,
Your use of the verse from acts 10:34 is taken way out of context....the context of the verse is to show that the gospel was not just for the Jews but for Gentiles as well. So your premise behind that verse does not stand.


50 posted on 06/05/2013 5:37:36 PM PDT by polishprince
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