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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.

Errors of Calvanism


Shadowfeathers
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
23 hours ago, Invicta said:

I don't think so.  

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Before the foundation of the world, not after we were saved.
 

May I remind you that due to the foreknowledge of God He knew who would be saved and when. So, we, the saved, were chosen before the foundation of the world.

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16 hours ago, Alan said:

May I remind you that due to the foreknowledge of God He knew who would be saved and when. So, we, the saved, were chosen before the foundation of the world.

To solidify this thought, bear in mind the Bible says that we are ALREADY seated in heavenly places in Jesus Christ:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Eph 2:4-7). These verses show things from God's perspective, that we who have been saved have already been seated in heavenly places-to God it is already a done deal, though we may be here on earth still in the flesh. God's perspective on things is always from the eternal, from the beginning to the end, there is not difference to God.  

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Amen! Ephesians 2:4-7 tells all of us one of the wonders of salvation. Thank you for bringing out this wonderful blessing. So often we forget the persepective of the thoughts of God in eternity.

Alan

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On 22/11/2015, 00:59:47, 360watt said:

Predestination is about two things:

 

1)  God has pre-set His system of churches for believers to join after they are saved.. (and after baptism).  These churches also have a pre-set destiny in the church age

2) God has pre-set the place of heaven for anyone who entrusts their salvation with Jesus... anyone who receives Him as their Saviour.

This is what pre-destination is about.  It isn't about God pre-setting those who will believe and those who don't.  Or pre-setting some to heaven and some to hell.. regardless of what they do with their will.

pre-destination in Ephesians is about the local New Testament assembly.

It is amazing the methods  you Americans try to get around what the scripture plainly teaches.

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58 minutes ago, Invicta said:

It is amazing the methods  you Americans try to get around what the scripture plainly teaches.

Invicta, what's with the "you Americans" stuff all the time? Whether it's eschatology, foreign policy, guns... Is it necessary to have such an 'us and them' attitude when talking to brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you do it to any neighbours who come from other countries too?

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On 11/21/2015, 6:37:51, Invicta said:

I don't think so.  

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Before the foundation of the world, not after we were saved.
 

Still nothing that says people are saved or damned before the foundation of the world. The election is based on foreknowledge leaving the door open for freewill.

1 hour ago, Invicta said:

It is amazing the methods  you Americans try to get around what the scripture plainly teaches.

We Americans are just to be blamed for everything, huh?

12 minutes ago, Alimantado said:

Invicta, what's with the "you Americans" stuff all the time? Whether it's eschatology, foreign policy, guns... Is it necessary to have such an 'us and them' attitude when talking to brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you do it to any neighbours who come from other countries too?

Reminds me of YouTube where Americans are blamed for everything and given credit for nothing unless it's bad. 

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1 hour ago, Alimantado said:

Invicta, what's with the "you Americans" stuff all the time? Whether it's eschatology, foreign policy, guns... Is it necessary to have such an 'us and them' attitude when talking to brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you do it to any neighbours who come from other countries too?

Apologies.

No, of course we welcome all nationalities. In our church we have had a Zambian preacher, a regular Czech girl, a semi regular Lithuanian,   we have had Dutch French, German, a South African Preacher, we even considered an Australian Pastor (rejected)

When we are able to spend a few day in France, we try to visit the Eglise Baptiste Biblique in Laon.  The pasteur is an American Baptist. 

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10 hours ago, Invicta said:

It is amazing the methods  you Americans try to get around what the scripture plainly teaches.

Funny that, I am from New Zealand :)

Independent missionary baptists who reject calvinism like I do are all over the world.. not just USA :)

Indeed, our congregation consists of people from Arkansas in USA, Korea, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Borneo.  At one stage we also had a Japanese member.

But yeah... just so you know.. I am from Christchurch city, New Zealand.

Kia ora

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On 22/11/2015, 00:59:47, 360watt said:

It isn't about God pre-setting those who will believe and those who don't.

What does determine who will believe and who won't? Calvinism attempts to answer this question, but I'm not sure scripture does actually tell us.

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9 minutes ago, Invicta said:

My question is "Does God have the right to choose, or not?"

 Did Go choose the Hebrews to be His people? or did they choose him?

of course God has the 'right to choose". On occasion God even took all choice away from people: "And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah. And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets? " (1Sam 19:21-24) In this case we see that God took all Saul's wil away for a short time and humbled him, making him strip naked and lay down and prophesy before His prophet, Samuel.

But, that God gave us the right to choose, as well, would make sense, as He created us in His image.  And of course, God not only chose the Hebrews as His people, (there would be no Israel, no Hebrews, except that He called them out of Ur of the Chaldees, in Abram), but apparently they had the right, at least as individuals, as well as a people, to reject Him.  Jesus reveals that in His own words: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

If God is sovereign, why can he not allow us the right to choose, be it well or poorly?

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Of course God allowed Free Will.  

He didn't simply "allow" Free Will.....Freedom of will is inherent in any moral agent.  Man was made in his image, and one of the critical facets of being a moral agent is freedom of will....if man didn't posses it, he'd be no more a moral agent than a mushroom.

He gave Adam Free Will and he used it to sin.  

Yes.

He begat sons in his own image,  

Yes.  But they are also as much in God's image as Adam's.  No more, no less.  This is where Calvinists go too far with this argument.  All men, are still made in the image of God as much as they are in Adam's image.  Genesis 9:6 (2,000 years after Adam and post God's destroying the whole planet for sin) he still says man is made in God's image:

Gen 9:6

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man

This classic "Adam was made in God's image...but his descedants were made in Adam's image" argument is utterly destroyed by this passage, and frankly....it proves too much, because it would otherwise suggest that man is now not appreciably special no longer is God's "image bearer"  and no more significant than an animal.  

Since then his descendants have been born dead

No verse of Scripture says that.  No verse of Scripture says or even implies that post-Adam....all men are BORN...."dead".  Spiritually or otherwise, it's a complete leap in logic and you'll post no verse for this proposition.

and dead men don't have free will.  

Dead men don't disobey God either, as someone eruditely pointed out earlier. After all....if that drowning man is too dead to  "reach out and grab the life-raft" (since Calvies think this is such a brilliant analogy)....than, they were also too dead to have jumped off the side  of the ship in the first place....(or even board it.) 

    But what you mean is that there is some "Spiritual" death which is caused from Adam's Spiritual death.  Even if that is granted.............it certainly doesn't mean they no longer are possesed of a free will.  No passage of Scripture states or even implies that simply because one is Spiritually dead they no longer posses a free will or even that it's capabilities are hampered. That's all beside the point anyway since Scripture nowhere states that men are "dead" Spiritually because of Adam.  That's more than a mere mistake.  It's ostensibly a fabrication, and flies in the face of a plethora of Biblical evidence saying otherwise.  All men are sinners and Spiritually dead because THEY THEMSELVES sin....Adam can live, die, exist, be perfect, not ever have existed, or be a metaphor or monkey.  The Scripture says all men Spiritually die for their own sins....and that everyone has sinned. They die physically because of Adam.  

Q. Who will He raise on the Last Day?  A Those who the Father gave him.

You are correct up to this point.

Q.  Who can come to Jesus? A.  Only those who the father draws to him.

Uh, uh, uh....not so fast........................That isn't in the Scripture.  The "Father" is not here described as the one who "draws"...not throughout this entire gospel....John makes it evidently clear who does the "drawing"...and that's the Son (person 2 of the Trinity)....and John makes it abundantly clear that if Christ (2nd member of Trinity) be lifted up...he will DRAW all men unto himself............I hardly need to re-quote that verse again.

As you can see from verse 26, that teaching was not popular with many of His disciples, any more than it is with many of his disciples today.  

You've reinforced your view epistemically and psychologically with a belief that since it's so unnatural to accept or unpopular, or that a normal (read unsaved man here) would balk at it that it carries with it an automatic weight of being more inherently Biblical or Spiritual or esotericly special to the redeemed.  It's specially understood by the Christian who is "in the know" about these issues.  In other words, the very fact that men nearly Universally reject this teaching is actually evidence FOR it's truth.....that is....the uniquely Calvinistic spin you place upon it.

The argument for this (even if it's only sub-conscious) goes something like this:

1.) Man is a fallen creature ladled with the noetic effects of sin such that he cannot discern Spiritual truth

2.) God through the Holy Spirit reveals the truths of himself and the truth of his Word only to those he has chosen.

3.) The "Natural man" cannot and will not accept nor understand these truths except it be given by God

4.) Non-Calvinists/ Arminians/ Pelagians/ Sinners/ "Free-willies" (all the same in a Calvinist's mind) reject these teachings as the Holy Spirit hasn't revealed it to them.

Therefore:

Those who reject the gospel and the atonement as understood by Calvinists are un-enlightened by  the Holy Spirit,....and by extension.....the more these teachings are rejected....the more they self-validate.

It's an impossible spiral....the more we reject what you say....

The more it self-validates in your mind.  Calvinism is so circularly impossible to defeat for this reason (and a million others) 

Can you walk with Him and yet reject His teaching?

Yes, Judas did......but, the more your are argued against.....the more your view self-validates.

It's the circularity and tormentous nature of Calvinism (and explains why it's so hard to convince a Calvie he's mistaken).

The more anyone rejects your view....the more you immediately see them as the false or un-enlightened persons who "walked-away" and thus, the more YOUR view must be the one which is correct.

Edited by Heir of Salvation
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Also, there are many people who are unsaved who intellectually understand the Gospel. If we apply the Calvinistic logic of spiritually dead, can a dead person understand the Gospel intellectually?

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Still have never had anyone (who claims that man doesn't have freewill) explain these two simple verses...

They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
 
And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Edited by No Nicolaitans
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3 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Still have never had anyone (who claims that man doesn't have freewill) explain these two simple verses...

They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
 
And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Do you mean, "What happens to unelect babies who die?" I have heard one (and only one) Calvinist say that they are tossed into the fires of hell and Christians should give God glory for it. I make this not up.

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17 minutes ago, Critical Mass said:

Do you mean, "What happens to unelect babies who die?" I have heard one (and only one) Calvinist say that they are tossed into the fires of hell and Christians should give God glory for it. I make this not up.

No...sorry. If man doesn't have freewill, and God directs all of man's actions and thoughts...then there's a major conundrum with those verses, because in those verses, God is speaking to Israel concerning their sinful idolatrous acts. He's saying that...

  1. He didn't command them to do it.
  2. He didn't tell them to do it.
  3. It didn't enter his mind that they should do it.

If God didn't command them or tell them to do it, the actions were their own.

If it didn't even enter God's mind for them to do those acts, then the thoughts to do the acts came from their own minds.

So...either God lied, or there's no explanation other than they did it of their own freewill.

Not only has a non-freewiller ever explained those verses, but even when confronted with the verses...they ignore them and continue their non-freewill belief.

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15 hours ago, Alimantado said:

What does determine who will believe and who won't? Calvinism attempts to answer this question, but I'm not sure scripture does actually tell us.

Of course God knows who will believe and who won't.  And....

The bible teaches the whosoever believes in Jesus as their Saviour will receive eternal life.  John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, etc

I see this as --God does know in advance, but that doesn't mean that He made the decision for us.

A dad taking his kid to sewing class may know that it will hard and the daughter will prick herself.. but that doesn't always mean he did the hardness or the pricking or chose to pick up the needle and thread.  And actually, if the dad intervened and stopped the daughter when she pricked herself.. the daughter would learn little or nothing about sewing.

He knows the consequences of what we do, that doesn't mean he always does the choosing for us

Course, where the hole in my thinking is is that God DOES know everything.. and created us.. knowing what would happen.. knew who would be saved and not.  

Maybe the hole is covered in thinking that God created us anyway out of huge grace, knowing what would happen, but did because He knew people could choose to believe in Him out of free will.. and that would be far greater than creating automatons.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, 360watt said:

Of course God knows who will believe and who won't.  And....

The bible teaches the whosoever believes in Jesus as their Saviour will receive eternal life.  John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, etc

I see this as --God does know in advance, but that doesn't mean that He made the decision for us.

A dad taking his kid to sewing class may know that it will hard and the daughter will prick herself.. but that doesn't always mean he did the hardness or the pricking or chose to pick up the needle and thread.  And actually, if the dad intervened and stopped the daughter when she pricked herself.. the daughter would learn little or nothing about sewing.

He knows the consequences of what we do, that doesn't mean he always does the choosing for us

Course, where the hole in my thinking is is that God DOES know everything.. and created us.. knowing what would happen.. knew who would be saved and not.  

Maybe the hole is covered in thinking that God created us anyway out of huge grace, knowing what would happen, but did because He knew people could choose to believe in Him out of free will.. and that would be far greater than creating automatons.

Thanks for responding, 360Watt. Exactly, and this is the critical bit that never gets addressed in these analogies. God is not a spectator with foreknowledge but a creator with foreknowledge, so if we want to philosophical about it, we need to ask what is the relationship between our created being and the decisions we make. Do our characters and desires determine what decisions we make and if so where do our characters and desires come from?

7 hours ago, 360watt said:

Maybe the hole is covered in thinking that God created us anyway out of huge grace, knowing what would happen, but did because He knew people could choose to believe in Him out of free will.. and that would be far greater than creating automatons.

This answer seems to assume that it's an inevitable consequence of free will that some people will choose one way and some another. Or that if 100% of people make the same choice then they must be automatons. But I don't see why you can't have a group of people that all desire to choose the same way and all do choose the same way when given a free choice. The ratio seems irrelevent to me: if it can be 50%, why not 100%?

When I hear 'free will' Christians talking about sinfulness they sometimes seem to bring in Calvinism by the back door. They will say that 'Joe' was saved because although he was selfish, depraved sinner, he still had a good heart deep down, so when the Holy Spirit drew, he responded to that call. His brother Jack, however--the renowned bad boy of the two--he was just that bit too selfish and too depraved to respond.

So Calvinism seems to say that everyone is too depraved to respond to the Gospel, so the Holy Spirit has to change the desires of some for any to be saved at all. While 'free will' proponents seem to say that just some are too depraved to respond to the Gospel, and they remain too depraved, and unsaved. If either is true then 'how did they get too depraved?' is the next question.

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Romans 8:28−30

 

Pastor Alec Taylor

Foreknew ... predestined ... called ... justified ... glorified 

 

The Jews had the advantage of possessing the special revelation of God through the Old Testament (‘the oracles of God’, 2). They were however, the same as the Gentiles (‘Greeks’) in that they also were sinners. They are all under sin (9,23). Paul fully accepted the Old Testament Scriptures as the word of God and quoted from the Psalms and Isaiah to prove the guilt of everyone (10–18). Man’s depravity is universal! Notice the words ‘none’ (10–11). Man in his natural state is ignorant of spiritual things (11; cp. 1 Corinthians 2:14). Sin is vile and its terrible fruit is described in verses 10 to 18. We also sin when we fail to do what God commands (sins of omission). It is sin not to seek after God our Creator (11). Our goodness is not good in God’s sight (12) because all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). The speech of sinners is deceitful, poisonous and full of cursing and bitterness (13–14). The tongue is a world of iniquity (James 3:6) which we must learn to control if we belong to the Lord (Ephesians 4:31; 5:4).

Let your speech always be with grace (Colossians 4:6). Sin also produces murderous attitudes and brings misery and destruction (15–16). Man in his sin cannot know peace nor does he fear God (17–18). When we speak to many who are not Christians, it is soon apparent from their attitude to sin, righteousness and coming judgment that there is no fear of God before their eyes. Many vainly believe that because God is love there will be no judgment and so nothing to fear. They fail to understand the nature of the love and justice of God. We must tell them that the Bible teaches that God is angry with them and that they will perish if they do not repent.

God’s holy law cannot save us, but it reveals our sin. The law silences and condemns us all. It speaks that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God (19–20). Let us praise God for giving his Son to die so that in him our guilt is cleared through justification. The doctrine of predestination brings great comfort if rightly understood. On what basis did God choose us before he made the world (Ephesians 1:4)? Some Christians interpret ‘foreknew’ to mean that God chose those whom he knew would have faith to choose him, making election (God’s choice) ultimately dependent upon us. Such teaching fails to accept that faith is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8) and that we can only come to the Son when the Father draws us to him (John 6:44). The foreknowledge of God means more than him knowing about us. It means ‘to know and to love with intimate personal awareness.’ (cp. Genesis 4:1; 18:19; Hosea 13:5; Amos 3:2; Matthew7:23; John 10:14). The Lord did not set his love upon us for any good found in us, but on the basis of his free and sovereign grace according to the good pleasure of his will (Ephesians 1:5; cp. Deuteronomy7:6–8). The apostles Paul and Peter poured out their hearts in praise to God when they thought of the doctrine of election (Ephesians 1:3–6; 1 Peter 1:2–3).

God has chosen us to be holy (Ephesians 1:4). Those who lead careless lives and yet profess to be saved should not take their salvation forgranted. We are urged, ‘Be diligent to make your calling and election sure’ (2 Peter 1:10). We have been predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son (29). Can the beauty of the Lord Jesus be seen in  your life?

There are five links in the chain of salvation that cannot be broken. Notice that they are all the work of God. — He foreknew ... he predestined ... he called .... he justified ... he glorified. We cannot lose our salvation. Everyone whom God has predestined, he calls, everyone who is called is justified, and everyone who is justified will be glorified. God does not choose us and then lose us; what God begins, he completes! He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). He is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24).

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  • 1 year later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On ‎2015‎年‎11‎月‎5‎日 at 8:45 AM, Shadowfeathers said:

10

The Bible teaches that man is morally corrupt (Jer. 17:9. Rom. 3:10-18).

That he is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1).

That he is spiritually blind (1 Cor. 2:14).

But is does not teach that man cannot respond to the Gospel.

Just the opposite, the Bible teaches that Christ gives light to every man, (Jn. 1:9)

He draws all men to himself (Jn 12:32),

He convicts men through the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:8).

God calls men to salvation through the gospel, (2 Thes. 2:14),

And He has ordained that the gospel be preached to every creature (Mk. 16:15).

The above points that Shadowfeathers lesson brought out are excellent.

Before salvation, we are dead in our sins and it is our nature to sin and disobey God above and His law; we are morally corrupt and spiritually blind. And, as God gives light to every man that he must repent, and that God draws men to Himself, it is up to the individual, through his own free will (the heart), to accept (as Shadowfeathers lesson said, 'respond'), to the salvation that He freely offers.

Calvinism (all five points of TULIP), as we previoulsy discussed, is without a biblical foundation, erroneous in its definition of biblical terms (dead in sins, election, predestination, etc...), is a man-made dogma based on the Roman Catholic Church and passed onto our generation by the Reformers (Calvin, etc...).

After salvation, as Shadowfeathers timely study brought out, it is the privledge, and honour, for those who have been saved by the mercy and grace of God, to preach the gospel so that others may hear the good news of salvation, and be saved.

 

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