If Calvinist see me in a worse light because of my biblical beliefs in grace and faith, then I must be doing something right! What do I mean by traditional? For the first 1500 years of Christianity people believed in personal responsibility to obey God and believe. Thatâ€™s what I mean by traditional. The Catholic Saint Augustine and his ilk are the only ones who believed differently. Mr. Augustine, came from religions and philosophical beliefs which believed in fatalism prior to him becoming a Christian. So it is no surprise that Calvin introduced those same ideas into the church, being a fan of the Catholic St. Augustine.
I forget if it was Finney or not, but there was an old style of preaching that you donâ€™t hear as much where the pastor tells the congregation that Jesus suffered the whips and lashes for all of your individual sins and suffered in the hottest of Hell to pay God back for your sins. It is ironic how the Reformers, who try to distance themselves from the sinners prayer and Catholic doctrine, get so much of their beliefs from the likes of Charles Finney and Catholicism!
People accusing me of being an Arminian donâ€™t know what Jacob Arminius believed. He believed, like Calvin, that people had to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit in order to believe. He believed the Holy Spirit then allowed people to decide for themselves if they wanted to believe in Jesus or not. Calvinism teaches the Holy Spirit makes you believe without exception. So you see, they are both wrong! The biblical view is that the preaching of the gospel enables people to believe should they want too. The salvation of the sinner is completely dependent on what Jesus has done for them and is received by faith.
Adriel wrote: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" - Eph 2:1
3) What does "dead in sin" mean?
5) In 1 Corinthinans 2, it teaches us that persons in this state cannot understand spiritual truths when spoken to them, until the Spirit renews them and gives them understanding."
3) â€śDead in sinâ€ť does not say or mean the same thing as total depravity. Separation from our Creator is different than an inability to believe. So it still doesnâ€™t say or teach total depravity in the Bible.
5) 1 Corinthians 2 is written to Christians and they are told that they were acting like natural men because of their envy, strife, and divisions. Paul also says they canâ€™t understand spiritual things being carnal themselves. Yet, these people who couldnâ€™t understand things from the Holy Spirit could still understand the gospel and believe.
Adriel wrote: 1) God does not manifest truth to all sinners.
2) "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" - Eph 2:1
3) What does "dead in sin" mean?
4) "Notice that in all three of the above Biblical references to the phrase "dead in sin" that the solution to spiritual death is God's quickening (or regeneration).
So much wrong in such a little space, I couldnâ€™t address it all in this response!
1) â€śThat was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.â€ť â€â€Johnâ€¬ â€1:9â€¬
â€śBut I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.â€ť â€â€Romansâ€¬ â€10:18â€¬
God does manifest the truth to all sinners. Thatâ€™s not even part of TULIP, thatâ€™s a freebie!
2) Being dead in sin doesnâ€™t mean they could not believe the gospel because they believed it while being dead in sin. I wonâ€™t mention that the term â€śtotal depravityâ€ť is not found in any of those verses, nor is the concept taught.
3) These people were dead in sin. Not physically dead, but separated from God and with the capacity to believe or not. If they had no capacity to obey, they would not be able to sin either.
You mean like the Presbyterian Church USA?! Iâ€™m not saying there arenâ€™t liberal churches of all sorts, but Reformed churches also have that problem. Either way, it doesnâ€™t prove or disprove your beliefs.
Thanks for the link, but I have been a member of a church that taught total depravity and was even the sound guy recording the sermon.
Your response to me is juvenile. â€śYes it is!â€ť Am I supposed to say no itâ€™s not? Declaring something to be true doesnâ€™t make it so. For one, none of the terms are in scripture. There is no arguing that. You then need to convince people if any of the theological ideas are and they obviously are not.
Iâ€™ll let an Arminian speak for themselves. Contrary to what Calvinist are taught, there arenâ€™t just two options. There is also the Biblical view! It teaches that God loves the whole word and made a way for them to be saved if they obey by faith, which they are able to do through the preaching of the gospel.
Why did sin spread to all men? Because they all sinned. Being separated from God because they are sinners, God made a way of escape for them in Jesus Christ, who is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. So while they are dead, should they believe, God will make them alive. TULIP isnâ€™t in the Bible!
I know the seriousness of the fall of Adam and yet I still believe in the traditional biblical view that a person believes should they choose to believe. Nothing in the Bible teaches Calvinism. At The Judgement, nobody will have the excuse that they were not able to believe because God wouldnâ€™t allow them too or that it was Godâ€™s fault for not making them believe. T.U.L.I.P. isnâ€™t in the Bible!
I was so right in my post a couple times back that nobody can refute it! If I came up with my own definition, they would try to argue that I didnâ€™t understand. I know how their weak, pathetic game is played before they do!
Notice how they themselves donâ€™t come up with a definition for total depravity, even though they are the ones who practice it!
Total depravity - The term is not found in scripture. Itâ€™s a made up term for a made up idea. The Pharisees used to add all kinds of stipulations to scripture, Calvinist arenâ€™t in good company.
Unconditional election - This term isnâ€™t in scripture either, surprise! The elect according to salvation in scripture is always and without exception only those who already believed. There is no mention of someone being elect for salvation and then they had faith because of that. False, false, false!
Limited Atonement - This term is not found in scripture. Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. That is after all why God sent His Son. John 3:16. If it is limited, it is limited to those who have believed.
Irresistible Grace - Wouldnâ€™t you know it? This term is not found in scripture. Those who want grace may have it by faith and those who donâ€™t arenâ€™t forced to believe.
Anyone adding to scripture any of these things should be ashamed of themselves!
Of course if you read Calvinist commentators they are going to tickle your ears. The salvation which God gave them and results in eternal life is the gift of God. You say eternal life isnâ€™t found in the text, but what do you think the gift of God is? I showed that it is eternal life and eternal life is synonymous with salvation.
Lurker wrote: 2) If that be so then poor Paul never received the gift of God. You see, J4J, Paul never claimed eternal life as a present possession but looked forward to it in hope. Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Thatâ€™s exactly my point! The Gentiles hadnâ€™t entered eternal life yet. Yet it was still something they possessed and could look forward too, just like Paul. It was the only thing in Eph 2:8 that was not finished.
â€śBut he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.â€ť â€â€Markâ€¬ â€10:30â€¬
Eternal life is part of the world to come, because in this life we wonâ€™t live forever and will die, we can look forward to it in the future!
Jesus proclaimed it is finished on the cross. That is because there is nothing that can be added to His work of salvation. The only thing a sinner can do once being made aware of the gospel of salvation is to receive it through faith. Nowhere does it teach or show people have an inability to believe should they desire to or that God forces the unwilling to magically sense belief within themselves, forcing them to believe. Sola Scriptura! If the Bible doesnâ€™t teach it, I wonâ€™t believe it.
A fruit of the Spirit is to trust God more. It doesnâ€™t mean people are unable to believe in Jesus when confronted with the gospel. Thatâ€™s the whole point of preaching the gospel, so that faith is passed from one person to another. Do you believe Peter was telling them to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins so they may have faith?! The Jews repented and believed of their own free will in order to receive forgiveness of sins. The Holy Spirit is God and we know that the gift of God is eternal life.
â€śFor the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.â€ť â€â€Romansâ€¬ â€6:23â€¬
By Godâ€™s grace we receive eternal life through faith. The salvation we receive is not because of anything we did, but because of Jesus Christ. Therefore there is nothing to boast about! As I explained earlier, grace was already bestowed upon the Gentiles in Ephesians and they already believed, the only thing left that could have been considered present tense was their salvation. Having been saved, they had not yet entered into eternal life. Eternal life is the gift of God.
Those Jews were plainly told who Jesus was before and would not believe. The sheep were all of those who believed in God previously and had not yet been brought into the fold of Jesus Christ. Those who believed in God, heard the voice of Jesus and believed in Him. They were of His fold and the others who had not yet heard had to be brought in. They were His lost sheep.
To say why one person is saved and another isnâ€™t, is not revealed in Scripture other than one believed and the other didnâ€™t. God will sort that out.
There isnâ€™t a whole lot revealed about individual punishment per sin in the Bible. We know of the eternal separation from God and that there are worse punishments. So if you believe Jesus was punished for each individual sin, where would you start? Does that mean He entered Hell or that He was in the very pits of it? Jesus was raised, so we know He didnâ€™t suffer eternal separation from God or even went to Hell, so how did He supposedly suffer the penalty of everyoneâ€™s particular sins so as to pay off God? You canâ€™t just make up that He did! The Bible, which I follow and believe in, says that Jesus died for our sins and because of our sins. It says nothing to particular punishment that He paid which would have then made anyone guiltless of being a sinner. Like I have said, a lot of stuff is taught by Calvinist, but when you dig into it, you find there is nothing there. No irresistible grace or desire by God to only save a arbitrary few. God says He loves the world and Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world for whosoever will believe in Him. Who am I to argue with how He has sovereignty decided it to be?
I answered why some choose to believe and others donâ€™t. What some people want to know is why specific people believe and others donâ€™t. The Bible doesnâ€™t give a case for each individual person.
â€śNow when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!â€ť â€â€Lukeâ€¬ â€18:22-24â€¬
In this case the man didnâ€™t want to give up any riches that he had. Itâ€™s different for different people.
Also, I said â€śare yeâ€ť was current tense which means that the Gentileâ€™s salvation is what should be considered the gift of God because the act of grace shown them and their own faith are past tense, while the gift was yet to be received. They had not yet entered into eternal life.
The reason all donâ€™t believe is because not all are willing to hear the truth so as to believe, not all are willing to confess their sins before God, not all want to follow Him because they love darkness rather than light. The reason people believe is because once confronted with the truth, they donâ€™t choose to ignore it or disregard it, they hear of how God so loved the world and sent His Son to die for the forgiveness of their sins that they reciprocate that love in repentance and faith. Maybe it is that they are more honest about the truth and grateful for what Jesus has done for them. That is less a reflection on how good they are because they are still sinners in need of the Savior, but it is a reflection of how wicked those are who will not obey the call of the gospel!
The way God changes minds is through the gospel message.
â€śHow then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?â€ť â€â€Romansâ€¬ â€10:14â€¬
It certainly isnâ€™t through Calvinist dogma that people believe! It isnâ€™t even scriptural. They think if they repeat the same words that are found in the Bible, they can pour into them any sort of meaning they want.
â€śBut if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.â€ť â€â€2 Corinthiansâ€¬ â€4:3-4â€¬
The gospel is only hid to those who have previously not believed.
â€śFor nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.â€ť â€â€Lukeâ€¬ â€8:17-18â€¬
The gospel is made known to all so they are without excuse and from there it may be taken away if they will not believe. Nobody will be fashioned into a believer who doesnâ€™t want to be.