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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

John Calvin Had It All Wrong

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Calvary
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

"DasveW, you completely miss the point by trying to vilify me.  (I am glad that n one will have that attitude when we get to glory)   My point was, they all believed in  predestination.  Incidentally, they all (AS far as I know) taught that the Pope is the Man of Sin, the Antichrist."

Pointing out that you are twisting history as well as doctrine is not vilification.
And if the above was really your point you put a lot of other trash in there to confuse things.

And predestination is Bible doctrine, just not the way Calvin taught it.

This whole thing is classic Calvinist misdirection, moving the argument around so as not to be pinned down, introducing new twists rather sticking to the actual point, and making false accusations again other respondents, twisting their answers.

Nothing unexpected, but lots wrong.

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Brother,

 

Where do you think Cloud is off on history? I have an interest in church history, and often wonder what the best source to go is on that topic.

 

Isa 19:19  In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.

 

Bro Cloud uses this verse as future, but Josephus uses the same verse to show that the Jewish high priest, Onias who was exile and fled to Ptotlemy Philometor, was given permission to build an altar in Egypt.  This altar was built one hundred and eighty furlongs from Memphis in the Nomos of Heliopolos.  Jos. Wars VII,  X .3. Ant. XIII. III.1,3. 

 

Isa 11:11  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
 
Bro Cloud uses that verse as future, but again Josephus says it has already happened in the days of Ptolemy Philadelphus who ransomed and freed "a few more than ten times ten thousand."  Ant. XII. II. 3.
 
Bro Cloud also denies there was a Greek LXX before the second Century, but again Josephus writing at the end of the first century describes it as then an ancient book, translated on behalf of Ptolemy Philadelphus who  collected a vast library in Alexandria and wished to have the Jewish law for his Library.
 
Regarding Church history.
 
If you want Baptist history, you could do worse than go to Bro Cloud himself.  He does a CD which includes a digital library containing a number of books on Baptist History.  I was particularly interested in the book on the Bogomils, as I had read that they were true Christians but the only book I could find in a library, said they were heretics, believing in "Two Principals", that is a god  of good and a god of evil.  The Catholic and Orthodox always said that the "heretics" believed that.  I once had an online discussion with a Catholic lady who insisted that the Waldensians believed in two gods, so I gave her a link to the Waldensian "NOBle Lesson" but she still insisted that they believed in two gods.
 
Someone once said, I can't  remember who, "There is no such thing as unbiased history."  This is also true in Church history;  XSo I should read from many different historians.  Anyway, it is bedtime.
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Arminians.

 

 

And I don't know of a single person here who claims to be an Arminian.

 

I'm an ARMian.  ;)

 

Isaiah 52:10
The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

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What is the Gospel?

1Co 15:1-4

(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

(2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

(4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

What does the Gospel do?

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

How is salvation attained?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

What saves under Calvin's system?

Unconditional Election:
God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

 

No mention of the blood of Christ, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

 

And you won't find these things mentioned in most outlines of the five points of Calvin.

They will often mention the death of Christ under “Limited atonement”, but only the fact that it isn't sufficient for all – some will say effective for all, but they twist that too.

 

Now John, I don't know about you, but my salvation is based on the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Christ, and was attained by me by grace through faith.

 

Any other way of salvation is another Gospel, which is not another.

 

Therefore to do as the Calvinist does and base salvation, not on the blood of Christ, but upon the choice of God, is another Gospel which is not another.

 

I believe that many people amongst Calvinistic churches are fooled by the doublespeak of the Calvinist teachers, and have actually believed the surface preaching without understanding the redefinition of words that they use.

But anyone who actually understands and follows Calvin's teachings, is basing their salvation on something other than the blood of Christ.

And that means that they are not saved.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Calvinists are like many other cults – they redefine words, jump through linguistic hoops, and make leaps of logic all so that they can re-understand what the Bible says.

 

But if you base your salvation on anything other than the blood of Christ, you are not saved.

And the Calvinist bases his salvation on the choice of God not the blood of Christ.

Correct, Calvinism teaches another gospel;

 

1 Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

Paul taught that Jesus died for "our" sins. No Calvinist who believes in Limited Atonement can honestly tell another person Jesus died for "our" sins as they do not believe Jesus died for all men. Calvinists all admit they do not know who the elect are. In fact, Calvinists do not know for certain they are elect, they just presume to be so. They do not know if Jesus died for them personally. Just because you believe something does not make it so. You could believe a gun was unloaded and put it to your head and pull the trigger, if it is loaded you will blow your head off. So, convincing yourself you are elect does not necessarily make it so, if Jesus did not die for all men, then no man can know for a certainty if Jesus died for him. 

 

 

 
Edited by Winman
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 Calvin was Catholic before he bacome supposedly a Protestant- but with research from David Cloud, it appears he was still pretty Catholic. 

 

Calvin a Catholic?

 

Before we were saved some were Catholics, some of other false religions some none. 

 

OK I looked up some of what Calvin actually wrote and I came across this.  

 

Now,every one that has learned from Scripture what are the things that more especially belong to God, and will, on who is able to save and to destroy; the alone King, whose office it is to govern souls by his word. It represents him as the author of all sacred rites;the other hand, OBserve what the Pope claims for himself -- though he were but a boy of ten years of age -- will have no great difficulty in recognizing Antichrist. Scripture declares that God is the alone Lawgiver (James 4:12)  it teaches that righteousness and salvation are to be sought from Christ alone; and it assigns, at the same time, the manner and means.

 

There is not one of these things that the Pope does not affirm to be under his authority. He boasts that it is his to bind consciences with such laws as seem good to him, and subject them to everlasting punishment.   

 

Teaching that  righteousness and salvation are to be sought from Christ alone;  does not sound Catholic to me.                                                                                                                                                                        

Sorry I should have said it was from his commentary on 2 Thess. 2:4                                                                                                                            

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Correct, Calvinism teaches another gospel;

 

1 Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

Paul taught that Jesus died for "our" sins. No Calvinist who believes in Limited Atonement can honestly tell another person Jesus died for "our" sins as they do not believe Jesus died for all men. Calvinists all admit they do not know who the elect are. In fact, Calvinists do not know for certain they are elect, they just presume to be so. They do not know if Jesus died for them personally. Just because you believe something does not make it so. You could believe a gun was unloaded and put it to your head and pull the trigger, if it is loaded you will blow your head off. So, convincing yourself you are elect does not necessarily make it so, if Jesus did not die for all men, then no man can know for a certainty if Jesus died for him. 

 

 

 

 

 

I have seen another gospel mentioned on here, that we become Christians because we don't want to go the Hell,  I have heard a similar other gospel from a Baptist preacher. " We become Christians because we want to go to heaven."

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ALL the reformation churches came from the RC background.  All of them fly the supposed Christian Flag flown in some Baptist churches.  But that flag was the reformation banner not a baptist banner.  Baptist did not come from the reformation they came from around it.  And If I am not mistaken Baptist are not from the direct line of Anabaptist, many associate it because of the word baptist in the name.  American Baptist are a unique fellowship of believers.  See Elmer Towns "Theology Today" he gives a little insight on it.

 

John Calvin didn't just persecute the Anabaptist he persecuted Wesleyans, the Lutherans, the Presbytery church, the Episcopals, RC and any groups that he could not influence toward his ideas for the church.  Later some of these groups created opposition to him while others conformed to him but not to the Bible.

 

 

Weslyans?

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I have seen another gospel mentioned on here, that we become Christians because we don't want to go the Hell,  I have heard a similar other gospel from a Baptist preacher. " We become Christians because we want to go to heaven."

The devils do not want to go to hell, but that will not save them, because Jesus did not die for the devils, but men only. 

 

Mat 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.

31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

 
These devils begged Jesus that if he must cast them out, that he not send them to hell to be tormented, but into the herd of swine. They did not want to go to hell. The devils believe in God and tremble (Jam 2:19), but they cannot be saved because Jesus did not die for them. And if Jesus did not die for you personally, you cannot be saved either, even if you believe. 
Edited by Winman
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Romans 10:9

 

This verse can only be true if Jesus died for all men. If Jesus did not die for all men as Limited Atonement teaches, then your faith could be in vain, or perhaps not, there is no way to know until you die. 

 

Paul shows this concept in 1 Corinthians 15;

 

1 Cor 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
 
It is not our faith that saves us, it is Jesus that saved us when he died for our sins and rose from the dead. Paul explains here that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then our faith is vain and we are still in our sins. Why? Because Jesus had to sprinkle his blood on the mercy seat in heaven for our sins to be atoned for. Therefore, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, our faith is vain, we are yet in our sins. What you believe does not determine reality. 
 
Likewise, if Jesus did not die for you personally, your faith is vain and you will perish in your sins. Your faith will not save you, your faith must be founded on a reality, that Jesus died for you personally. If Limited Atonement is true, and Jesus only died for some men, then only those persons he died for can be saved. If Limited Atonement is true, you MIGHT be saved, but the overwhelming prOBability is that you are not, as only FEW enter life. 
 
This is why Limited Atonement is another gospel, Paul taught all men that Jesus died for "our" sins.(1 Cor 15:1-3).This is not what 5 point Calvinists believe. They don't know they are elect, there is no list where you can look up your name.to see if you are one of the fortunate elect. 
Edited by Winman
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Likewise, if Jesus did not die for you personally, your faith is vain and you will perish in your sins. Your faith will not save you, your faith must be founded on a reality, that Jesus died for you personally. If Limited Atonement is true, and Jesus only died for some men, then only those persons he died for can be saved. If Limited Atonement is true, you MIGHT be saved, but the overwhelming prOBability is that you are not, as only FEW enter life....[snip]...if Jesus did not die for all men, then no man can know for a certainty if Jesus died for him.

 
Welcome to the forum, Winman. Pleased to meet you.
 
I.M.O your argument above would be fine if Calvinism didn't teach that there was any manifest difference between a saved person and an unsaved person. But Calvinism does teach this, in exactly the same way that other Christians teach it. According to Calvinists, the elect will respond to the Gospel and the unelect won't and this will be made manifest by the changed lives of individuals. Therefore, the fact that Calvinists believe atonement is limited and also claim not to know who in a crowd is elect when they begin to preach is immaterial as to whether or not according to Calvinism an individual can know they are saved.
 

Paul taught that Jesus died for "our" sins. No Calvinist who believes in Limited Atonement can honestly tell another person Jesus died for "our" sins as they do not believe Jesus died for all men.


I guess a Calvinist would say that the context of 'our' is the saved Christians that Paul is talking to (if he is?), but even so, I agree with this point that a Calvinist can't honestly witness to an individual by telling them that Jesus died for their sins. I've always thought that a Calvinist soul winning is a bit like a secret agent at a train station. The secret agent walks around the platform saying to people 'have you seen the red and green lighter I dropped' not because he is actually looking for his lighter but because it is a secret signal that his anonymous rendezvous has been briefed to respond to. In the same way, a Calvinist will go around telling every individual that Jesus died to pay for their sins not because they believe that Jesus did die for the sins of those individuals but because they are hoping to illicit a response from the elect. Thus, the Gospel isn't a clear, frank message that can honestly be shared with anyone but instead is a secret message, the 'real' significance of which is only recognised by the intended targets. Might have the wrong idea but that's the impression I get. :-)

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Sorry "Fed", but I´m not following you too well.
 
I think you sort of say 2 things that are opposing each other.
 
Now it could be argued that this is a distinction without a difference since if man's decision-making is the result of something, such as his desires and inclinations, then that is not free will. But for me, this begs the question, if that isn't free will, then what is? To qualify as 'free will', does the decision have to have no basis at all? And then wouldn't that make it random?
 
?? Sorry but you´re not making sense. Maybe if you try again. What I am hearing you say is that free will is absed upon a man´s "inclinaitons", therefore it´s npot free will, then you say it´s really random, therefore there is no basis of free will.... ???????? Ya lost me bro.
 
Then you say that we really don´t know what Moses´inclinations were so we can´t say why my post refutes calvinism.

 
Sorry this has taken so long, Calvary.
 
I wasn't actually trying to explain my own beliefs at all. I was trying to point out what I see as potential prOBlems/inconsistencies with what follows from your claims, while at the same time trying not to put words in your mouth. :-)
 
I'll try to explain again:
 
1. As far as I can tell from reading what they write, Calvinists claim that God gets elect folk to respond to the Gospel by changing their inclinations/character/desire/constitution (or whatever you want to call it), which in turn determines what choices those folk make for themselves. Same as how, all things being equal, I'll never choose to jump off a cliff.
 
2. You claim that Calvinism is a system whereby God 'overcomes' folks' free will, which I interpret as meaning they end up with no free will to respond to the Gospel.

Now it seems to me that what I've described in (1) isn't a scenario whereby anyone's free will is taken away. But you are saying that under Calvinism, the free will to choose is indeed taken away. Therefore, either:

a] I've interpreted what Calvinism says about free will correctly and you haven't, or

b] You've interpreted what Calvinism says about free will correctly and I haven't, or

c] We've both interpreted what Calvinism says about free will correctly, because having an inclination to chose a certain way is the same thing as having no free will.

If you think is true then fair enough and we must agree to differ unless we want to go further and start quoting from treatises etc. But if you think [c] then in my opinion that leads to the following prOBlems:

  • If 'free will' can only exist provided one doesn't have prior inclinations, then what is left to determine what we choose except randominity? But that conflicts with our own experience.
It renders historical examples such as Moses choice to follow God in Heb 11:25-27 as not a free will choice after all, since the Bible clearly states that Moses was motivated to make the choice. We would have to say that Moses inclination to esteem the reproach of Christ 'overcame' his free will to choose Egypt.

I'm going for [a], of course. ;-)

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Sorry this has taken so long, Calvary.
 
I wasn't actually trying to explain my own beliefs at all. I was trying to point out what I see as potential prOBlems/inconsistencies with what follows from your claims, while at the same time trying not to put words in your mouth. :-)
 
I'll try to explain again:
 
1. As far as I can tell from reading what they write, Calvinists claim that God gets elect folk to respond to the Gospel by changing their inclinations/character/desire/constitution (or whatever you want to call it), which in turn determines what choices those folk make for themselves. Same as how, all things being equal, I'll never choose to jump off a cliff.
 
2. You claim that Calvinism is a system whereby God 'overcomes' folks' free will, which I interpret as meaning they end up with no free will to respond to the Gospel.

Now it seems to me that what I've described in (1) isn't a scenario whereby anyone's free will is taken away. But you are saying that under Calvinism, the free will to choose is indeed taken away. Therefore, either:

a] I've interpreted what Calvinism says about free will correctly and you haven't, or

b] You've interpreted what Calvinism says about free will correctly and I haven't, or

c] We've both interpreted what Calvinism says about free will correctly, because having an inclination to chose a certain way is the same thing as having no free will.

If you think is true then fair enough and we must agree to differ unless we want to go further and start quoting from treatises etc. But if you think [c] then in my opinion that leads to the following prOBlems:

  • If 'free will' can only exist provided one doesn't have prior inclinations, then what is left to determine what we choose except randominity? But that conflicts with our own experience.
It renders historical examples such as Moses choice to follow God in Heb 11:25-27 as not a free will choice after all, since the Bible clearly states that Moses was motivated to make the choice. We would have to say that Moses inclination to esteem the reproach of Christ 'overcame' his free will to choose Egypt.

I'm going for [a], of course. ;-)

 

The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be -- and often is -- rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call, the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success.

 

God's call to salvation is unlimited but His redemption is limited to those who believe. (Matthew 22:14) The Holy Spirit's conviction and drawing is what drags us to God. We do not come by our own will, which is utterly depraved and naturally hostile toward God.

 

In John 6:44 Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." Clearly those who do come, come because they have been enabled to do so. Furthermore, Jesus continues in this verse to affirm that, He "will raise him up on the last day." There is no room in this passage to allow for the possibility that all who are enabled will make a decision to refuse the offer. Jesus has made that clear with His pronouncement in the second half of this verse. Moreover, to suggest that at this point those who are enabled to come can decide not to, is to destroy the natural reading of this verse. No, all those who come, are indeed only those who have been enabled to do so. And all those who are enabled to do so, are saved. That is grace with power to save; grace that is irresistible!

 

("enabled" here is to be understood as regenerated - in other words, born again yet not saved)

 

The bold above are just a few quotations from real life Calvinism on the will of man. It´s often called irresistible grace, the “I” in TULIP.

 

Following your OBservations, of a,b,and c, I am thinking you haven´t studied the writings of actual Calvinist sufficiently to suggest that I might be wrong on mine.

Irresistible grace denies man’s free will as it is attached to the total depravity of man.

Sadly, many Baptists are confused as to what the reformed doctrines actually teach. They are glossed over with false definitions.

For example, you seem to indicate that this Irresistible grace is merely a yielding to the goodness of God and eventually through God´s grace and mercy on the sinner, he (the sinner) succumbs to the call of the Holy Spirit. To which I would say, yes, that is how it really works.

Unfortunately that is far from what the actual doctrine teaches.

Follow me here. According to the reformed doctrines:

  1. The sinner is so totally depraved in nature, will and disposition that man is UNABLE to respond to the gospel call.
Therefore, God overpowers man´s will as the Holy Spirit draws the sinner to saving grace. In order to do that, the sinner is regenerated by the Holy Spirit, PRIOR to being saved. Thereby making salvation in reality a 2 step process instead of an instantaneous moment.

I am not misrepresenting anyone.

That´s why I tried to demonstrate the weakness of such a position by showing Moses as an example of man´s free will in his choice to serve or not.

 

I´m still not sure of what you are trying to say about man´s free will. But I am sure of this, there is no inconsistency in my understanding of the false teaching of reformed theology. Perhaps now, you can see why I posited Moses as an example to show the folly of the calvinsts position on man’s free will in salvation.

I think your option “a” is the correct scenario.

 

God bless,

calvary

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Hi Calvary. Since you say I haven't studied the writings of 'actual Calvinists' enough to understand their teachings, I'll lay out what I have done in the interests of sharing. About seven years ago, before I was saved, and when I first learned there was such a thing as Calvinism (the Baptist church I was being taken to by a friend was reformed and I did not know it until I read their declaration), I decided to read up on it. I found out about Institutes and knew that I would never get through it, so I did a bit of searching on the net for books that Calvinists themselves were recommending and the title that came up again and again was Loraine Boettner's 1932 book Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. So I bought it and I read it. And after I read it, I tested it by looking on the net to see what other Calvinists were saying about reformed theology and for the most part I found that the book agreed with what they were saying.
 
I believe the way I summarised reformed teaching on free will in my earlier post is consistent with what Boettner says about it and what I've OBserved others who say they are Calvinist claim. Example from Boettner:
 
"...we believe that, without destroying or impairing the free agency of men, God can exercise over them a particular providence and work in them through His Holy Spirit so that they will come to Christ and persevere in His service. We believe further that none have this will and desire except those whom God has previously made willing and desirous; and that He gives this will and desire to none but his own elect."
 
Example from the Westminster Confession:
 
"All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace."
 
Now I just googled the three paragraphs you quoted above and the first two contain within those same paragraphs an affirmation that man is brought to a state where he freely chooses God (and it is all from one writing). Here are the ends of the first two paragraphs you quoted:
 
1. "He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ."
 
2. "A dead person is lifeless and not able to do anything. If you wish to move a dead person without any assistance, from one end of a place to another you must drag him. That is exactly what the Holy Spirit has to do to sinners to bring them to salvation. The Holy Spirit regenerates the unregenerate by turning a spiritually dead will that is in rebellion against God to one that is spiritually alive and willingly accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord."
 
So I think the way I've defined Calvinist teaching on free will is consistent with one of the major reformed confessions, with a work that Calvinists 'on the ground' recommend (example) as a staple on the subject, and with the source you yourself decided to use in this discussion.

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Follow me here. According to the reformed doctrines:
  1. The sinner is so totally depraved in nature, will and disposition that man is UNABLE to respond to the gospel call.
  2. Therefore, God overpowers man´s will as the Holy Spirit draws the sinner to saving grace.
  3. In order to do that, the sinner is regenerated by the Holy Spirit, PRIOR to being saved. Thereby making salvation in reality a 2 step process instead of an instantaneous moment.

I am not misrepresenting anyone.

 

Sorry, forgot to respond to this bit and I'll keep it brief because my last post was long.

 

I would argue that you mischaracterise the Calvinist position in point (2). They claim that 'therefore' the drawing of the Holy Spirit changes man's inclinations so that he now freely chooses God, not that he ends up with no free will.

 

As for point 3, yeah I'd agree. 'Two step process' is a succinct way of putting it and brings out a distinctive of Calvinism, but the number of steps involved in the claimed process doesn't speak to whether it denies free will.

 

I tell you what would help me see your perspective: if you were to go to the source you just used, single out the bits that talk about man 'willingly' choosing (see my quotes), and tell me what you think your source is saying there.

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Welcome to the forum, Winman. Pleased to meet you.
 
I.M.O your argument above would be fine if Calvinism didn't teach that there was any manifest difference between a saved person and an unsaved person. But Calvinism does teach this, in exactly the same way that other Christians teach it. According to Calvinists, the elect will respond to the Gospel and the unelect won't and this will be made manifest by the changed lives of individuals. Therefore, the fact that Calvinists believe atonement is limited and also claim not to know who in a crowd is elect when they begin to preach is immaterial as to whether or not according to Calvinism an individual can know they are saved.
 


I guess a Calvinist would say that the context of 'our' is the saved Christians that Paul is talking to (if he is?), but even so, I agree with this point that a Calvinist can't honestly witness to an individual by telling them that Jesus died for their sins. I've always thought that a Calvinist soul winning is a bit like a secret agent at a train station. The secret agent walks around the platform saying to people 'have you seen the red and green lighter I dropped' not because he is actually looking for his lighter but because it is a secret signal that his anonymous rendezvous has been briefed to respond to. In the same way, a Calvinist will go around telling every individual that Jesus died to pay for their sins not because they believe that Jesus did die for the sins of those individuals but because they are hoping to illicit a response from the elect. Thus, the Gospel isn't a clear, frank message that can honestly be shared with anyone but instead is a secret message, the 'real' significance of which is only recognised by the intended targets. Might have the wrong idea but that's the impression I get. :-)

Thanks for the welcome, pleased to meet you as well. 

 

Oh, I agree that Calvinism teaches only the elect will "truly" believe, but John Calvin taught what is called "Evanescent Grace"

 

"Experience shows that the reprOBate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them. Hence, it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption .... there is a great resemblance and affinity between the elect of God and those who are impressed for a time with a fading faith .... Still it is correctly said, that the reprOBate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their mind to this extent .... there is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent” (3.2.11, Institutes).

 

According to Calvin, God himself deceives some persons with a false faith that seems so real that they are convinced they are elect, only to fall away and be lost. 

 

So, the only assurance any Calvinist can have is to work and keep working to convince themselves they truly believe. It is a fact that Calvinists more than any other group suffer from lack of assurance as has been written of by John Piper, R.C. Sproul, and many other Reformed teachers. 

 

"It may surprise you to know that just about every contact I have had with people who are doubting their salvation are Calvinistic in their theology. In other words, they believe in unconditional election. These are the ones who believe in perseverance of the saints. These are the ones that believe that we cannot lose our salvation! Yet these are the ones who are doubting their faith the most.
 
Their issue has to do with their election. Are they truly among the elect? If they are, they believe their faith will persevere until the end. But if they are not, there is no hope. But how are they to know for sure whether they are elect? Maybe their faith is a stated faith? Maybe it is false. The gentleman I talked to today was so riddled with doubt, he was having thoughts of suicide. “How do I know my faith is an elect faith?” He wanted assurance so badly, but felt that his Calvinistic theology prevented him from ever having such assurance." C. Michael Patton, Doubting Calvinists
 
That last article was written by a well known Calvinist himself. He says that nearly every single person who has contacted him doubting their salvation is Calvinistic in their theology. 
 
If Limited Atonement is true, then no man can know for a certainty that Jesus died for him personally. Your faith could be completely vain, just as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 15. Unless Jesus died for all men, you have no definite promise to depend upon for salvation. 
 
And you are correct, Calvinists avoid telling anyone that Jesus died for their sins personally, because they cannot honestly say that if Limited Atonement is true. It MIGHT be true, but it could also be completely false. 
 
Calvinists try to compensate by saying Jesus died "for sinners", but this is only a half-truth if Limited Atonement is true. If Limited Atonement is true, the only honest thing you could tell any person is that Jesus died for "some sinners", but you have no way of knowing who those sinners are. 
 
How can anyone have faith in a complete uncertainty?  YOU CAN'T. 
 
Edited by Winman
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If you happen to hear this broadcast on the radio entitled ''Grace to You'', and you're not one of the chosen, disregard the title, it's not ''to you''; because what they REALLY mean is ''Grace to a few''.

 

 

http://www.gty.org/

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Hi Calvary. Since you say I haven't studied the writings of 'actual Calvinists' enough to understand their teachings, I'll lay out what I have done in the interests of sharing. About seven years ago, before I was saved, and when I first learned there was such a thing as Calvinism (the Baptist church I was being taken to by a friend was reformed and I did not know it until I read their declaration), I decided to read up on it. I found out about Institutes and knew that I would never get through it, so I did a bit of searching on the net for books that Calvinists themselves were recommending and the title that came up again and again was Loraine Boettner's 1932 book Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. So I bought it and I read it. And after I read it, I tested it by looking on the net to see what other Calvinists were saying about reformed theology and for the most part I found that the book agreed with what they were saying.
 
I believe the way I summarised reformed teaching on free will in my earlier post is consistent with what Boettner says about it and what I've OBserved others who say they are Calvinist claim. Example from Boettner:
 
"...we believe that, without destroying or impairing the free agency of men, God can exercise over them a particular providence and work in them through His Holy Spirit so that they will come to Christ and persevere in His service. We believe further that none have this will and desire except those whom God has previously made willing and desirous; and that He gives this will and desire to none but his own elect."
 
Example from the Westminster Confession:
 
"All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace."
 
Now I just googled the three paragraphs you quoted above and the first two contain within those same paragraphs an affirmation that man is brought to a state where he freely chooses God (and it is all from one writing). Here are the ends of the first two paragraphs you quoted:
 
1. "He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ."
 
2. "A dead person is lifeless and not able to do anything. If you wish to move a dead person without any assistance, from one end of a place to another you must drag him. That is exactly what the Holy Spirit has to do to sinners to bring them to salvation. The Holy Spirit regenerates the unregenerate by turning a spiritually dead will that is in rebellion against God to one that is spiritually alive and willingly accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord."
 
So I think the way I've defined Calvinist teaching on free will is consistent with one of the major reformed confessions, with a work that Calvinists 'on the ground' recommend (example) as a staple on the subject, and with the source you yourself decided to use in this discussion.

Following your OBservations, of a,b,and c, I am thinking you haven´t studied the writings of actual Calvinist sufficiently to suggest that I might be wrong on mine.

 

That´s what I said, brother, I did not say that you don´t understand them on your own. I am stating that my understanding of classic reformed theoloigy is right on the money.

 

You still seem to backpeddle a bit on what the true classic reformed doctrine teaches. Irresisitble grace is not a softening of the heart, a breaking down of the defenses of man´s free will - it is fact clearly believed by reformed theologians to be exactly what I presented it to be - a complete overpowering of the will, by a precursor regeneration that eeads to salvation - a process that the BIble nowhere teaches, niether by verse nor example.

 

Let´s try John Piper -

The doctrine of irresistible grace means that God is sovereign and can overcome all resistance when he wills. "He does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand!" (Daniel 4:35). "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases" (Psalm 115:3). When God undertakes to fulfill his sovereign purpose, no one can successfully resist him.

 

Thats exactñly what calvinism teaches. God´s grace is imposed upon the sinner as it is apparent that he has no free will to do the right thing, due to TOTAL DEPÄVITY. - in fact one cannot discuss the TULIP points or 5 pillars of reformed theology without crossing over the lines of each tenant as they all stand together or all fall by one being removed.

 

Again, John Piper -

Someone may say, "Yes, the Holy Spirit must draw us to God, but we can use our freedom to resist or accept that drawing." Our answer is: except for the continual exertion of saving grace, we will always use our freedom to resist God. That is what it means to be "unable to submit to God." If a person becomes humble enough to submit to God it is because God has given that person a new, humble nature [i.e born again]. If a person remains too hard hearted and proud to submit to God, it is because that person has not been given such a willing spirit. But to see this most persuasively we should look at the Scriptures

 

He ends by tying the IG to PofS, as one tenant can never stand alone.

 

John Piper understands classic calvinism perfectly and he presents the truest sense of the meaning of Irresistible grace - a grace that negates the free will of man, thereby requiring a "willing spirit" to be forced upon the unwilling reciepient of God´s grace. Irresisitible grace is only true if (and I say IF) Total depravity is true, as defined by calvinism.

 

The previous aticle I quoted, (and there really is no need to quote endless sources, that site is succint in presenting the clearest definition of reformed doctrine) continues to say, -

 

The Apostle John speaks of those for whom some would make the claim were drawn and yet refused this offer of grace. He says of them in 1 John 2:19, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us." As this passage indicates, one can appear to be a Christian, to be "of us," and not actually be as he seems. What is the one thing we learn from this passage? It is that genuinely born again people, drawn to Christ by the Father, never fall away. They remain. But those who refuse God's grace by turning from Him, no matter how authentic they may have appeared, prove that they were never truly born again to begin with.

 

Again, the IG cannot stand upon its own merits as it is dependent upon the "perserverance of the saints" (and that does not mean once saved always saved for a minute)

Exactly as the TD must have IG to lean upon, the PofS must be an outcropping of the IG, and on it goes., The 5 pillars are inter dependent, take one away, it all crumbles as the man made doctrine it is.

 

Your further quote of a source I presented does nothing to diminish the reality of the theological clap trap that the reformed doctrines comprise. It solidifies the nonsense.

 

God bless,

calvary

 

That my frind is pure theological hogwash.

Edited by Calvary
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