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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

John Calvin Had It All Wrong


Calvary

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A full understanding of Scripture is not required for one to be saved. Thanks be to God for that! We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, come in the flesh, died and resurrected to pay for our sins. With our heart we believe, with our mouth we confess.

 

God made salvation very easy.

 

Our view of various other matters, which most often are come to after salvation, don't necessarily prove or disprove one being saved or lost.

No requirement to believe he is the son of God for Salvation today, but it was taught that he is. This was a requirement under a gospel to the circumcision or the Gospel of the Kingdom, for the kingdom was at hand.

 

We should believe he is Saviour by substitutionary Death, Burial and Resurrection.  Rom 10:9-1 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  1Cor 15:3, 4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

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 born again Christians

can anyone show me a verse where Gentiles, under the Gospel of Grace are said to be "Born Again Christians"?

 

Especially in any book to the churches written by Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles from Roman's to Philemon.

 

then explain to me why it is used in context of Israel in John 3.  and by the Apostle to the circumcision which is to Israel also.

 

Why doesn't Paul ever use the term Born again, Born Again Church, Born again Christian, Born Again Body of Christ?

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2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

Sounds like being born again to me.

 

You can't be "in Christ" without being saved. When someone is saved (in Christ), old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Paul may not have used the term "born again", but his terminology describes the same concept.

 

John 3:3-8
  3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
  4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
  5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
  7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
  8   The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

 

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit...

 

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

 

Christ said that no man is born again without being born of water and of the Spirit. Paul agrees (since he was inspired by the Holy Spirit) that the REGENERATION and RENEWING is done of the Holy Ghost.

 

Regeneration...renewal...born again.

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can anyone show me a verse where Gentiles, under the Gospel of Grace are said to be "Born Again Christians"?

 

Especially in any book to the churches written by Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles from Roman's to Philemon.

 

then explain to me why it is used in context of Israel in John 3.  and by the Apostle to the circumcision which is to Israel also.

 

Why doesn't Paul ever use the term Born again, Born Again Church, Born again Christian, Born Again Body of Christ?

 

Sounds like being born again to me.

You can't be "in Christ" without being saved. When someone is saved (in Christ), old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Paul may not have used the term "born again", but his terminology describes the same concept.

John 3:3-8
  3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
  4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
  5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
  7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
  8   The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit...

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Christ said that no man is born again without being born of water and of the Spirit. Paul agrees (since he was inspired by the Holy Spirit) that the REGENERATION and RENEWING is done of the Holy Ghost.

Regeneration...renewal...born again.

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That is easy.  If one is truly saved, you are one of the elect.

 

You do not know if you are elect, it is impossible for anyone who believes in Limited Atonement to know if they are elect, even if they believe. If Jesus did not die for you personally, then it does not matter if you believe on him, your faith is vain. 

 

The only person who can know they are saved is someone who knows for a certainty that Jesus died for him personally, and that he has trusted this work of Jesus on his behalf to save him. 

 

You can't possibly know that. 

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He believes & confesses Jesus as Lord & Saviour.

 

Your misunderstanding of "calvinism" has NOTHING to do with the Gospel of salvation & Christian living.

 

Believing does not guarantee he is one of the elect. Calvin taught that God often deceives the non-elect with an "evanescent grace" that completely deceives them. They believe and feel they are true believers but are not. 

 

And if Limited Atonement is true, then no man can know for a certainty he is one of the elect. If Jesus did not die for you personally, your faith is completely vain and will not save you. 

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Sounds like being born again to me.

You can't be "in Christ" without being saved. When someone is saved (in Christ), old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Paul may not have used the term "born again", but his terminology describes the same concept.

John 3:3-8
  3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
  4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
  5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
  7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
  8   The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit...

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Christ said that no man is born again without being born of water and of the Spirit. Paul agrees (since he was inspired by the Holy Spirit) that the REGENERATION and RENEWING is done of the Holy Ghost.

Regeneration...renewal...born again.

I might be persuaded the term born again was truly for the Body of Christ if Paul used it openly to continue the doctrine that Christ established in John 3.  But he doesn't. 

 

Paul did continue to teach 9 of the ten commandments and restates them for the Body of Christ but does not for the Born again doctrine. for Israel.

 

Ask yourself "why must Israel be born again"?

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I've never encountered a "Calvinist" who didn't declare that one knows they are "elect" by the very fact they have been born again.

 

On the point of salvation for Gentiles: Acts 8:37 refers to a Gentile making declaration regarding Jesus being the Son of God.

 

"And Philip said, If thou believes with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

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On the point of salvation for Gentiles: Acts 8:37 refers to a Gentile making declaration regarding Jesus being the Son of God.

 

"And Philip said, If thou believes with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

but the gospel of the gospel of the Kingdom not the Gospel of the grace of God for it had not been revealed yet to Paul.  So the gospel this man, who was a JEWISH proselyte, like those in Acts 2 is the Kingdom Gospel.

 

Yes it was a gentile but it was to show that God was turning to include gentiles.  the last point was Peter teaching that same gospel but before he could tell them they must repent and be baptized.  the holy  ghost fell on them. Peter later declared that it was God showing that he was turning to include the gentiles.

 

Ac 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. 
something you need to meditate on is why Paul rights in Eph 2:8,9 that it is by grace and not through grace as Peter points out here.
 12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
 13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

 

Acts is clearly showing a difference between believers of the Gospel of the kingdom as does Galatians 2:7, and the gospel of the grace of God preached by Paul.

 

Ga 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

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I've never encountered a "Calvinist" who didn't declare that one knows they are "elect" by the very fact they have been born again.

 

On the point of salvation for Gentiles: Acts 8:37 refers to a Gentile making declaration regarding Jesus being the Son of God.

 

"And Philip said, If thou believes with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

 

But this is where the confusion comes in - they are only born again because they are elect.

 

How do you know you are saved? Because you are elected by God.

How do you know you are elected? because you are saved.

So then how do I know if am really saved? Because you are one of the elect.

But how can I tell if I am actually am one of the elect? Because you are saved.........

 

You end up with a unresolvable loop of logic where you say you know you are elect because you are born again, but you are born again because you are one of the elect.

Each is reliant on the other being true, but neither proves the other to be true.

Therefore if one is untrue, the other must also be untrue, and there is no way to prove one or the other is true, without the relying on the other.

 

In fact you can only know you are one of the elect in Calvin's terms if you persevere to the end.

If you don't, then you were OBviously not one of the elect. (I have had that exact statement made to me personally by several different Calvinist at different times - it is a standard answer)

 

This is exactly what my friend battled with - the unresolvable logic loop that is set up - you can not know for sure that you are one of the elect, for there is no way to prove it.

As testified by the lack of a simple answer to a simple question by those who espouse this form of doctrine.

 

1Jn 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 
 
The context of this passage puts believing fairly and squarely on the agenda, but no mention of being elect.....
 
You can know because you believe.
But how do you know if you are "elect"(according to Calvin's definition), because if you are not elect, it actually doesn't matter what you believe....
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So as not to risk confusion, I'm not arguing for Calvinism, I only pointed out what I've heard Calvinists say time and again.

 

No doubt, followed out, the argument becomes circular.

 

What it comes down to, whatever views one holds in this area, were they biblically saved. If saved, they are forever saved, and that is proof they are God's elect whether from a "Calvinist" view or other.

 

Thus far, I've not spoken with a "Calvinist" who didn't have a biblically sound testimony of salvation. No doubt my experience is limited and doubtless there are many "Calvinists" out there who have a biblically unsound testimony just as there are many other professing Christians that have the same.

 

My only point, previously somewhere, was that we can't rightly declare someone isn't our brother/sister in Christ based only upon them being a "Calvinist" or Presby, gap believer or one who thinks real wine should be used with the Lord's Supper.

 

I almost forgot, where the issue of perseverance is concerned, I've heard many non-Calvinists make statements which effectively puts their view in the same basket with perseverance. We've seen it here on OB over the years where someone will declare that Mr. Joe seemed to be a good Christian but then there was a tragedy in his life and he went out and got drunk, or beat some guy to death, or committed some other terrible sin and then he died, so that proves he wasn't saved or he wouldn't have done that. That's a sideways perseverance argument. It's also, most likely without meaning to be, a shot at eternal salvation.

 

Scripture itself teaches there will be those at the end who have everything in their lives burned up but they themselves will be saved. That alone should be warning for us not to be too quick to judge someone's salvation based upon their "perseverance" or how they were living when they died.

 

So, back to the "how can I know" matter. We are told in First John that we can know. Scripture tells us how to know if we are saved or not. What one believes elect and predestination mean in Scripture isn't mentioned with regards to how we can KNOW we are saved.

 

If we are saved, it's because of the work of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost seals us so we are forever the Lord's. The Spirit bears witness.

 

Those who worry too much about whether they are saved or not either are not saved so they have no assurance (which explains their worry) or they need to be walked through the verses regarding how to know we are saved and examine themselves in light of Scripture.

 

There are all sorts of things one can get hung up on with regards to God, Jesus and salvation. While I've never dealt with one worried because of the issue of election, I've dealt with those worried they had committed the unpardonable sin and a few other things. Getting them to take their mind off their fear and focusing upon what Scripture actually says about salvation and how to KNOW whether one is saved or not, is what they need.

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How do you know you are saved? Because you are elected by God.

How do you know you are elected? because you are saved.

So then how do I know if am really saved? Because you are one of the elect.

But how can I tell if I am actually am one of the elect? Because you are saved.........

 

The same logic is used by evolutionists:

 

How do you know your dating of this rock is accurate? Because of the date of the fossils found with it.

How do you know your dating of the fossils are accurate? Because of the date of the rock.

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I've never encountered a "Calvinist" who didn't declare that one knows they are "elect" by the very fact they have been born again.

 

On the point of salvation for Gentiles: Acts 8:37 refers to a Gentile making declaration regarding Jesus being the Son of God.

 

"And Philip said, If thou believes with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

 

No 5 point Calvinist can know they are elect. If Limited Atonement is true, then Christ did not die for the vast majority of people. Their sins have NOT been paid for. It doesn't matter what these persons believe. They can believe Jesus died for them, but if he did not, their faith is vain, and they shall perish in their sins. 

 

Your faith does not determine reality. Paul himself shows this in 1 Corinthians chapter 15;

 

1 Cor 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1 Cor 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
 
Do you understand what Paul is teaching here? Paul is saying that if Jesus did not in reality rise from the dead, then even if you believe Jesus rose from the dead your faith is vain, and you will die in your sins. 
 
Likewise, if Jesus did not die for you personally, the fact that you have convinced yourself he did will not save you. He either died for you or he didn't, your faith does not determine reality. 
 
You could believe a pistol is empty and put it to your head and pull the trigger, if it is loaded it will blow your head off. 
 
No 5 point Calvinist can possibly know for a certainty they are elect. Ask them who the elect are, they will tell you they don't know. But then they contradict themselves and claim they know they are elect. That is impossible, they cannot know that either. 
 
Just because they have convinced themselves they are elect does not make it so. 
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But this is where the confusion comes in - they are only born again because they are elect.
 
How do you know you are saved? Because you are elected by God.
How do you know you are elected? because you are saved.
So then how do I know if am really saved? Because you are one of the elect.
But how can I tell if I am actually am one of the elect? Because you are saved.........

You end up with a unresolvable loop of logic where you say you know you are elect because you are born again, but you are born again because you are one of the elect. Each is reliant on the other being true, but neither proves the other to be true.


I'm not big on epistomology but this 'loop' you've heard Calvinists arguing appears to be doing nothing more than describing the mechanism of salvation (according to Calvinism) in a tautological way . We can do the same thing about all sorts of things we do all believe in, for example:

How do we know the truth? Because God reveals it to us.
How do we know that God reveals it to us? Because we know the truth.

Does that mean we can't ever know that God reveals the truth to us? Seems to me that it just means we can tie ourselves up in knots about anything if we're not careful.

I don't doubt you've had the conservation you lay out above, Dave, if you say you've had it. But whenever I've asked a Calvinist how they know they are saved, they've given the same reasons I've heard most other Christians give: the testimony of the scriptures, the testimony of Creation, their own conviction and experience of believing and repenting, and the fruits of their salvation. There's no endless loop there--their testimony is that they've come to believe through evidence, like everyone claims.

I put this to Winman back near the beginning of this thread when he was arguing (as he maintains) that if God only died for an elect few then it is impossible to know that one is saved. At the time I argued that whether salvation is offered to all or a few is irrelevent to individual knowledge of salvation given that both Calvinists and non-Calvinists maintain that the evidence of salvation for the individual is what's seen 'at this end' as it were, i.e. what one sees and hears, what one confesses to, what they believe in, and what happens to them. Calvinists, like non-Calvinists, believe that true believers will show fruits of salvation.

(As far as I can see the only people who can say that the offer of salvation to all is in itself evidence that a given individual is saved are universalists, because they believe that Jesus dying on the cross means all will be saved.)

Winman responded to my argument by saying yes but Calvinists can't rely on the fruits of salvation because Calvin teaches 'evanescent grace', which is the idea that God engineers it so that the unsaved can appear to be saved, both to themselves and to others, meaning that according to Calvinism we can't tell the difference between real and fake salvation.

I didn't have time to respond to Winman at the time, but since this bit of the debate has popped up again I'll do it now.

I don't see how 'evanescent grace' supports the argument that Calvinists can't believe they are saved because of limited atonement, since it has nothing to do with limited atonement. It's actually a completely different argument for why Calvinists apparently can't know they are saved. This is demonstrated by the fact that if Calvinists didn't believe in limited atonement but did believe in evanescent grace, the argument that they couldn't know they were saved because of evanescent grace would be unaffected.

So what about 'evanescent grace' itself then? Well, if a Calvinist does believe in it then I can see how that would lead them to ask 'how do I know whether my salvation experience was real or fake'?

Thing is, non-Calvinists say pretty much the same thing. They don't attribute authorship of 'fake salvation' to God but they do maintain that you can think you're saved and appear to show fruit when actually you're not saved, so the effect on the individual is equivalent.
 

In fact you can only know you are one of the elect in Calvin's terms if you persevere to the end.
If you don't, then you were OBviously not one of the elect. (I have had that exact statement made to me personally by several different Calvinist at different times - it is a standard answer)

[snip]

I can tell you a personal instance where a young man who was saved became influenced by a Calvinist. He became convinced Calvinism was correct, but then also became worried he was not one of the elect. He was given no reasonable answer by his calvinist friend. This fear so caught him that he eventually convinced himself that if he didn't "just know he was one of the elect" that he must not be. And he stopped coming to church, moved into a worldly lifestyle, and was still in that situation the last time I heard about him. I can assure you that his downfall was due to the influence of Calvinism and because he could not be told how to know he was elect.

 
Well, I don't know if the Calvinists poured as much scorn on your friend for his doubts as I might get for sharing what I'm about to share, but truth be told I've doubted my salvation on and off pretty much since I was saved four years ago (which to some here will mean I'm not). Most of my doubts have been because of what non-Calvinists have told me, though that's just because most all of the churches I've been to haven't been Calvinist. Here are some of the things I've been told that have made me doubt:

  • You may think you believe but maybe you don't really believe. You'll have to wait a while and see what fruit comes forth. If it isn't enough, then that is evidence that you were never saved to begin with and your belief has been a fake belief, sincere as it may have seemed to you.
  • You may think you have repented and turned to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross for salvation but maybe you haven't really. You'll have to wait a while and see what fruit comes forth. If it isn't enough, then that is evidence that you were never saved to begin with and your repetence hasn't been authentic, much as it may have seemed to be.
  • You may have believed and repented and put your faith in 'Jesus Christ', but if you are wrong or unclear on the specifics of certain doctrines, such as the exact nature of the trinity or precisely how atonement works then you've actually put your faith in a different Jesus and not the one that saves.
  • You may have believed and repented and put your faith in 'Jesus Christ' but if you are wrong on any point of scripture whatsoever then you've actually put your faith in a different Jesus and not the one that saves.
  • You may have believed and repented and put your faith in 'Jesus Christ', and all your beliefs about the real Jesus and the whole counsel of God may even be correct, but if the person who led you to salvation was wrong on any point of scripture whatsoever then they presented you with a different Jesus and you remain unsaved no matter what you believe now.

Those are just a few. They've not all got to me in the same way. Incidentally, I've heard all of them on OB at one time or another over the years (and I expect some here will say they are spot on). I believe all of the above could and prOBably are advanced by Calvinists too. The third and fourth ones are pretty much the same as what John MacArthur teaches, for example.

 

I appreciate this is technically irrelevent to whether or not Calvinism causes folk to doubt their salvation. After all, if all the points I've just listed are true then I've just got to deal with them, right? But it does seem a bit ironic to me, Dave, that you will pull no punches making the point that Calvinism can cause folk to doubt their salvation, even telling us a story about a friend it happened to, and then in the next breath (or post, if you like) you'll make a >fairly complicated theological argument that Calvinists can't actually be saved because of some underlying doctrinal detail that they've got wrong. The net effect, of course, is that folk like me will think that if one needs to define and understand doctrines with that much precision or else they're not saved, what if there's something I've misunderstood, maybe something I don't even know I've misunderstood?

 

It's also not lost on me that John ended up trying to present the simple Gospel a few posts back and AVBB is already OBjecting to specifics.  :wink 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

My "fairly complicated theological argument" is less complicated than your post deeming it so, and your conclusion misrepresents me - I have never said a Calvinist can't be saved.
I have also never said that people need to define doctrines before they can be saved.

But it serves to add confusion to the subject for you to do so........

And your whole argument is about what people have said about the argument - well some of the people who have commented here are just as wrong - using their argument to somehow invalidate my words is just plain silly.

Just as it is silly to try to invalidate the circular reasoning argument by showing where some else has used circular reasoning.

The young man I spoke of had precisely this issue and it was entirely because of calvinism. I know this because we spoke at length about it.
It is he that pointed out this circular reasoning to me.

So your misrepresenting my words does not invalidate them, and your introduction of side issues and accusations does not invalidate them.

People don't get saved because of calvinism - they get saved because of the Gospel.
People get saved in spite of calvinism.

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I preach simply what the Bible actually says.
 

 

No you don't.  I have shown a number of places where you misquote scripture.  

 

You don't believe that God predestinates, whereas scripture says he does.

 

If you are a pastor, you should be careful, you swill be judged to a higher standard.

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No you don't. I have shown a number of places where you misquote scripture.

You don't believe that God predestinates, whereas scripture says he does.

If you are a pastor, you should be careful, you swill be judged to a higher standard.


No you are wrong - I do believe in predestination, I just don't preach it the false way Calvin did.
You have not shown where I misquote scripture - I may have made a mistake in quoting but I have not deliberately misquoted.
But you are welcome to continue to throw around false accusations.....
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