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Sue D.

Essential Soteriology?

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Well to share my thoughts, what you stated is that you're a Baptist for non essential reasons, but you disagree with their soteriology which is essential.

 

 

 

I consider that a pretty bad analogy because the person is dead, but to entertain your analogy they are dead floating at the bottom of the ocean as a corpse- Ephesians 2:5. Your analogies are false because they suppose the person is alive. The person can do nothing for themselves, because they are DEAD.

  • Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

 

Now which is more Scriptural? Who made us alive? To say that God's sovereignty is limited by man's freedom is to make man sovereign. Furthermore, I think the article is a terrific piece, and I'm yet to hear any sound exegesis against it. If anything these types of responses remind me why I do not want to participate in such discussions. The Scriptures are disregarded for a unscriptural view of salvation. Nowhere in the Bible does it remotely suggest that man has an autonomous or libertarian free will.

 

Now only one analogy is correct and that analogy is more appropriately aligned to Scripture which gives all Glory to God Alone.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

 

William -- will you please explain why you state / what you mean by that I'm a Baptist but for non-essential reasons? What part of Baptist soteriology do I Not agree with but you feel is essential.

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William -- will you please explain why you state / what you mean by that I'm a Baptist but for non-essential reasons? What part of Baptist soteriology do I Not agree with but you feel is essential.

 

Hi Sue,

 

You already stated that you're a Baptist because, "Biblical baptism by immersion as an indication in public of the decision the person has already made in their heart. That baptism by immersion does Not complete the process of salvation".

 

Do you consider the mode of baptism to be essential to salvation? Or do you consider grace and salvation so inseparably annexed to it, that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it: or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated? If not is it essential?

 

Soteriology covers doctrine which are essential to salvation. For example, a person that believes in his own works or works righteousness, or rejects the Trinity, if we take them per verbatim is not saved. Likewise, all denominations or Christians for that matter only fall into a handful of camps:

  1. Pelagian: Man is basically good and only needs a moral teacher
  2. Arminianism: Man is only sick and needs only a doctor.
  3. Calvinism: Man is dead and only God can raise Him to new life.
  4. Universalism: Everyone goes to heaven.

If you know your church history and 2000 years of it, some wonderful and genius debates have come to the forefront. For example: https://www.christforums.org/forum/e...y-of-calvinism

 

You mentioned that your husband went to a Calvinist seminary. I recommend watching this video with him, perhaps he can further address any questions that may surface. What does a person have to lose? The debates and highlights of them in this video series are pivotal moments. They address Arianism, Pelagianism, Arminianism, and Calvinism. Those that do not know their history are bound to repeat it. And that's what I see, most of the soteriology which comes into the forum comes to surface unwittingly, not knowing that various councils and synods have already addressed these positions.

 

Symptomatic of these people that refuse to learn from others such as church fathers and brethren that precedes us does a great discredit and lacks respect for their sacrifices. A lot of the creeds and confessions cost brethren eyes, limbs, or even resulted in torture or death. Some of these people suggest that they need not of the gifts which offices hold, and they have no issue blaming the Holy Spirit for their lack or comprehension or just plain poor interpretations.

 

If you watch the video series, I guarantee you'll know essential and non essential doctrine. Idolatry comes in many forms, and some soteriology is nothing more than idolatry of self, for example:

In Gen 3:5, when Satan, disguised as a serpent, said

to Eve, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened,

and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

 

Here are the double lies being offered to

Eve springing out of the same principle behind his botched coup attempt; first, that she

would be like gods, and thus independent, able to rule over herself apart from God, and

secondly, there is not one God, but many gods; each is sovereign over himself or herself.

 

 

Lemme ask you, do you know enough about Pelagianism and Arminianism? If not, do you know enough to discern between Orthodox soteriology and the doctrine of devils?

 

I wish you the best in your studies! I'll let you answer your own questions by standing on the shoulders of giants. It will be a wonderful and magnificent view in which we see throughout historical church landscape from those giants whose doctrine has stood the scrutiny time.

 

God bless,

William

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Baptism by immersion as compared to sprinkling. Sprinkling is not in the Bible. But immersion Is. It is Not part of salvation. It does not Complete salvation -- the thief on the cross who acknowledged Jesus Christ and was assured by Christ that He would be with him that very day in Paradise. The thief had no opportunity For baptism , so obviously baptism is not an essential for salvation. People on their death bed who accept Christ as Savior -- no opportunity for baptism.

 

However, baptism Is the outward action by the person To others -- of the decision that has already been made by the person. Whether that action is made the same day, week, month or years later is up to the person and circumstances. Some kids have accepted Christ as their Savior during VBS -- their parents are of a persuasion that the young person was sprinkled as a baby and therefore doesn't need baptism. She was told that if she still wants to be baptized when she's 18, then go ahead. Is that young person Saved? Absolutely.

 

 

Essential doctrinal beliefs -- the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. -- Jesus Christ is the Son of God. --- salvation is Only through Jesus Christ / no good works involved on our part. --- assurance Of salvation / the Holy Spirit comes to indwell the believer immediately upon belief in their heart and confession with mouth. The Holy Spirit Stays with the believer -- will never leave or forsake us. The death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day.

 

The Trinity makes salvation possible. So denying the trinity / Godhead is denying salvation.

 

Yes, my husband went to a Calvinist Bible college and then to seminary. I was just asking him about the seminary -- it was hyper-Calvinistic. He was there for only 1 yr. The G.I. bill had paid for his Bible college and he Though it covered seminary. It Would have been If the two schools had been together. We didn't know that until after we'd moved cross country to get there. So, he had to work full-time while taking classes. That's why it took him 1 1/2 yrs instead of just one.

 

I should Also say that my husband is only a 4 1/2 point Calvinist. His goal had been the Air Force Chaplaincy which did not happen. He knew how to give the answers that were needed to pass and graduate.

 

I grew up in a Bible teaching church in Iowa. I know Bible and I went to 2 ys of Bible college. I know sound Bible doctrine when I hear it.

 

 

It has been said by people learning to distinguish counterfeit money from the real thing. You study the Real Thing and you'll recognize the fake in a minute. And you also learn the forgery methods to be up-to-date on what the forgers use.

 

Part of the role of the Holy Spirit is to guide the believer in the truth. Read / learn from Scripture -- studying with others.

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Baptism by immersion as compared to sprinkling. Sprinkling is not in the Bible. But immersion Is. It is Not part of salvation. It does not Complete salvation -- the thief on the cross who acknowledged Jesus Christ and was assured by Christ that He would be with him that very day in Paradise. The thief had no opportunity For baptism , so obviously baptism is not an essential for salvation. People on their death bed who accept Christ as Savior -- no opportunity for baptism.

 

However, baptism Is the outward action by the person To others -- of the decision that has already been made by the person. Whether that action is made the same day, week, month or years later is up to the person and circumstances. Some kids have accepted Christ as their Savior during VBS -- their parents are of a persuasion that the young person was sprinkled as a baby and therefore doesn't need baptism. She was told that if she still wants to be baptized when she's 18, then go ahead. Is that young person Saved? Absolutely.

 

Please stop spouting this, thanks. I've already shown you that baptism is not a work plenty of times, and that Jesus had the power while he was on Earth to forgive sins and that is how the thief on the cross is saved. Guess what, he is no longer on the Earth and the remission of sins is through the baptism of John.

 

It's almost as though I'm shouting to a brick wall. I'm absolutely astounded that an individual can be shown the literal verse that says "Baptism is not washing yourself, it is coming to God with a good conscience" AKA "Baptism is not a work," and then repeat exactly what they've said before many times.

 

Sue you are in your old age and you are still preaching that baptism is a work, polluting the generations that come after you. What have you done? Did you take a sharpie and cover John 3:5 KJV?

 

[Mod Edit]

Edited by Origen

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It's almost as though I'm shouting to a brick wall.

No, on this forum you are talking to people who understand how we are saved and therefore know that what you are teaching about baptism if false.

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No, on this forum you are talking to people who understand how we are saved and therefore know that what you are teaching about baptism if false.

 

And what do you have to say for what Jesus spoke unto Nicodemus in John 3 KJV?

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I'm a Bible person 1st and then Baptist

Sue, this is the correct attitude to take in spiritual matters. You could also say "I am a Biblicist first and then a Baptist".

 

If all Baptists and Presbyterians (as well as others) would take this approach, a lot of issues could be put to rest. Unfortunately, being a strict Biblicist is not a very popular position.

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  • Pelagian: Man is basically good and only needs a moral teacher
  • Arminianism: Man is only sick and needs only a doctor.
  • Calvinism: Man is dead and only God can raise Him to new life.
  • Universalism: Everyone goes to heaven.

There is a fifth option and that is Biblicism, which ignores all the controversies and goes directly to the Bible for the answers.

 

According to Biblicism (which means each item is clearly supported or stated in Scripture):

 

1. All humans beings are sinners by birth and by choice. By birth because of Adam, and by choice because of their inherent sin nature.

 

2. All human beings have a conscience, which means all humans can choose to do either good or evil. At the same time, because of indwelling sin, human beings choose more to sin than to do good.

 

3. The Bible says that the conscience is really a reflection of the Law (the Ten Commandments) and when Gentiles do the things which are according to this Law, they are "a law unto themselves".

 

4. Even though all human beings are sinners, they can be converted by the SUPERNATURAL POWER of two things: (a) The Gospel (which is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes), and (b) the Holy Spirit, who is presently in the world to convict and to convince sinners. Which means that sinners do not (and cannot) receive the Holy Spirit BEFORE they have been born again. This is a primary fallacy of Calvinism, which puts the cart before the horse.

 

5. While the Bible does say that all sinners are spiritually dead (until their spirits are revived through the New Birth), that spiritual deadness does not prevent any sinner from responding to the Gospel. Hence we have (within the Bible) several open invitations to all human beings to receive the gift of eternal life.

 

6. There is no such term as "total depravity" in the Bible. At the same time, all humans are under condemnation, and there is none righteous, no not one, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Therefore ALL are guilty before God.

 

I could quote all the relevant Scriptures, but for now this is simply an outline of why Biblicism rejects all the other "isms".

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And what do you have to say for what Jesus spoke unto Nicodemus in John 3 KJV?

 

What Jesus said to Nicodemus is 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. (John 3:5).

 

On the surface, it would appear that Christ is speaking about ordinary water, or the water of baptism. But we need to examine ALL the Scriptures pertaining to the New Birth and salvation. And once we do that we discover that "water" is a metaphor for both the Word of God as well as the Holy Spirit. So the correct understanding of "water" in light of all Gospel truth is to paraphrase what Christ said as follows: Except a man be born again by the power of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God, since he cannot be born again without those two supernatural influences.

 

How do we know without the shadow of a doubt that this "water" is really the Gospel? We will take just one Scripture (1 Peter 1:23-25) to prove this (even though there are many other passages which corroborate this truth).

 

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

 

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

 

According to this passage:

 

1. What is the basis of the New Birth? THE WORD OF GOD

 

2. How eternal and immutable is the Word of the Lord? IT ENDURETH FOREVER

 

3. Is the Gospel equated to the Word of God? ABSOLUTELY

 

So once again it is through the preaching of the Gospel and the convicting and convincing of the Holy Spirit that spiritually dead men are brought to life, but the New Birth is a RESULT of hearing the Gospel and responding to it with repentance and faith.

 

 

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Sue, this is the correct attitude to take in spiritual matters. You could also say "I am a Biblicist first and then a Baptist".

 

If all Baptists and Presbyterians (as well as others) would take this approach, a lot of issues could be put to rest. Unfortunately, being a strict Biblicist is not a very popular position.

 

 

You're right -- and I appreciate this most recent post of yours.

 

People tend to feel that having a degree with a name -- or having a wonder reputation as a Bible scholar puts them on another level -- and it Is true that lots of people have done a great deal of study in Scripture and write books / sermons, even commentaries with their findings --and we Can learn from them -- but we tend to let Them 'chew' Scripture For us. We need to chew it for ourselves First and then find out what other thoughts are 'out there'.

 

Being a strict Biblicist can Also result in how literal or not that Bible is taken. The creation / 7 /24-hour days or 'one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day'. But that is another subject and just an example.

 

And being a Baptist isn't especially popular, either. Lots of flavors of. We tend to be put in a very small, narrow box. :)

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If I may add a comment ? Couldn't the 'water' Also be referring to being born physically? A baby - inside the womb - is enveloped in a bag of water. That water has to be broken in order for a baby / person to be born physically. And when a person has been born Again it is the Holy Spirit who comes to indwell him/ her making the person Alive Spiritually.

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Please stop spouting this blasphemy, thanks. I've already shown you that baptism is not a work plenty of times, and that Jesus had the power while he was on Earth to forgive sins and that is how the thief on the cross is saved. Guess what, he is no longer on the Earth and the remission of sins is through the baptism of John.

 

It's almost as though I'm shouting to a brick wall. I'm absolutely astounded that an individual can be shown the literal verse that says "Baptism is not washing yourself, it is coming to God with a good conscience" AKA "Baptism is not a work," and then repeat exactly what they've said before many times.

 

Sue you are in your old age and you are still preaching that baptism is a work, polluting the generations that come after you. What have you done? Did you take a sharpie and cover John 3:5 KJV?

 

STOP LYING TO PEOPLE.

 

 

Since this post is being directed at Me, personally, I'll take a moment to respond to it.

 

Lucas has just done a beautiful job of responding to your comments.

 

Trist -- you are speaking in ignorance of Scripture. Jesus Christ was here as the Son of God / God incarnate. Not just another man who had power while here on earth to forgive sins. Yes, Jesus Christ Did ascend back up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. When a person is baptized Scripturally it is in the name of the Father, and Son and Holy Spirit. It is the outward sign of the decision that the person has already made in their heart. John's baptism was a forerunner of believers' baptism . Also -- Jesus was baptized and then started His public ministry here on earth. An example to future believers.

 

So, I'm in my old age, am I. And,no, I'm Not teaching that baptism is a work, never have. John 3:5 "Jesus answered , "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." Read the next two verses. A person needs to be born physically first and then spiritually - made alive by the Holy Spirit coming at the moment of the person's heart belief / acceptance of/ and producing Spiritual life.

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If I may add a comment ? Couldn't the 'water' Also be referring to being born physically? A baby - inside the womb - is enveloped in a bag of water. That water has to be broken in order for a baby / person to be born physically. And when a person has been born Again it is the Holy Spirit who comes to indwell him/ her making the person Alive Spiritually.

There are at least three biblical reasons why the amniotic fluid (water in the womb) does not fit (although some teach that it does):

 

1. Jesus said "that which is born of the flesh is flesh", and the whole human reproductive process is "of the flesh" (human and of the human body).

 

2. Jesus also said "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit", which means that the New Birth is a supernatural and miraculous intervention by God Himself (thus "born of God"). All human spirits are dead from birth until the New Birth. It is only when a sinner is regenerated that his or her spirit is made alive, and then indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And thus a person's spiritual eyes are opened to the truth and the spirit can also pray and communicate with God.

 

3. Paul applies the metaphor of water to the Word of God, and it is the Word along with the Holy Spirit which brings conviction to human hearts (Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 4:7,12,13):

 

That he might sanctify and cleanse it [the Church] with the washing of water by the word

 

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his [the Holy Spirit's] voice, harden not your hearts...

 

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him [God] with whom we have to do.

 

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At least you're including that there are some who teach that it does -- and I'd be in that group.

 

And, yes, Ephesians 5 passage. I'm not Disagreeing with any of those passages.

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At least you're including that there are some who teach that it does -- and I'd be in that group.

Let's take another look at John 3:5, and we will immediately notice why human birth and the amniotic fluid are EXCLUDED from this saying of Christ:

 

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.

 

That little word "except" indicates that what is required is exceptional, not normal. Since all human beings come into this world via the womb, there is nothing exceptional about being born physically. So now we need to look for the proper and spiritual meaning of "water". That is why water means the Word of God, and it is the Gospel, and the effect of the Gospel on the sinner, which ultimately leads to the New Birth.

 

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12,13).

 

No one can receive Christ or believe on His name until and unless he hears (or reads) the Gospel and responds in faith. It is only then that he is born of God.

 

 

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Nowhere in the Bible does it remotely suggest that man has an autonomous or libertarian free will.

 

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

 

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

 

IF indicates a choice or free will. You can't have consequences if you don't have free will. If we have no free will, we make God a liar, for you shall not die if you do not mortify the deeds of your body and live after the flesh.

 

The Bible gets really convoluted once you start trying to justify sinning. The Bible is meant to be simple.

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Nowhere in the Bible does it remotely suggest that man has an autonomous or libertarian free will.

Actually Sue was quoting William who said the above. However, while the Bible does not use the terms "autonomous" or "libertarian" the Bible clearly teaches that men have free will, since men can make freewill offerings.

 

Deut 16:10 -- And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:

 

Lev 22:18 -- Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering;

 

2 Chron 31:14 -- And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the LORD, and the most holy things. [TABLE=align: center, border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD] 5071. nedabah [/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

[TABLE=align: center, border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]Strong's Concordance

nedabah: voluntariness, freewill offering

Original Word: נְדָבָה

Part of Speech: Noun Feminine

Transliteration: nedabah

Phonetic Spelling: (ned-aw-baw')

Short Definition: offering[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

freely (1), freewill offering (12), freewill offerings (9), plentiful (1), voluntarily (1), volunteer freely (1), willingly (1).

 

How could anyone offer a "freewill offering" unless he had free will and could voluntarily, willingly, and freely offer what he chose to offer? When Christians deny that men have free will, then they deny what the Bible affirms.

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Actually Sue was quoting William who said the above. However, while the Bible does not use the terms "autonomous" or "libertarian" the Bible clearly teaches that men have free will, since men can make freewill offerings.

 

Deut 16:10 -- And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:

 

Lev 22:18 -- Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering;

 

2 Chron 31:14 -- And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the LORD, and the most holy things. [TABLE=align: center, border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD] 5071. nedabah [/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

[TABLE=align: center, border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]Strong's Concordance

nedabah: voluntariness, freewill offering

Original Word: נְדָבָה

Part of Speech: Noun Feminine

Transliteration: nedabah

Phonetic Spelling: (ned-aw-baw')

Short Definition: offering[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

freely (1), freewill offering (12), freewill offerings (9), plentiful (1), voluntarily (1), volunteer freely (1), willingly (1).

 

How could anyone offer a "freewill offering" unless he had free will and could voluntarily, willingly, and freely offer what he chose to offer? When Christians deny that men have free will, then they deny what the Bible affirms.

 

All you've shared are verses that establish that an offering is to be made free from under the compulsion of law.

 

Is that your definition of free will?

 

I know no Calvinist that disagrees with this particular definition. But it does not address salvific free will.

 

However, while the Bible does not use the terms "autonomous" or "libertarian" the Bible clearly teaches that men have free will, since men can make freewill offerings.

 

Again, Calvinist reject an autonomous or libertarian will, and you won't find those theological terms in Scripture. You used the word Bible, which too will not be found in Scripture.

 

Nobody chooses to do something contrary to their nature. The state of original sin leaves us in the wretched condition of being unable to refrain from sinning. We still are able to choose what we desire, but our desires remain chained by our evil impulses. Freedom that remains in the will always leads to sin. In the flesh we are free only to sin, a hollow freedom indeed.

 

What is Libertarian Free Will?

 

Freedom as understood in the libertarian sense means that a person is fully able to perform some other action in place of the one that is actually done, and this is not predetermined by any prior circumstances, our desires or even our affections. In other words, our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature. All free will theists hold that libertarian freedom is essential for moral responsibility, for if our choice is determined or caused by anything, including our own desires, they reason, it cannot properly be called our decision or free choice. Libertarian freedom is, in fact, the freedom to act contrary to our nature, wants and greatest desires.

 

Libertarian free will is the position that the unbeliever’s free will is sufficiently self-contained, self-sufficient, and self-caused (without external coercion) so as to be able to accept or reject Christ as Savior, on his own, apart from God's enabling. It assumes that the sinful will is somehow capable, by virtue of being "free", to be able to choose to believe in God and follow him through Christ.

 

First of all, this violates scripture which says that man is deceitful (Jer. 17:9), full of evil (Mark 7:21-23), loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19), does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12), is ungodly (Rom. 5:6), dead in his sins (Eph. 2:1), by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3), cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14), and is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:16-20). Therefore, how is it possible that an unbeliever who cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14), who does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12), and who is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:14-20), simply "chooses" God?

 

Second, libertarian free will promotes the non-Christian idea of independence from God and suggests that the unbeliever's final decision to receive Christ is dependent on nothing than his own self-contained, self-caused, autonomous free will choice. Furthermore, this position attributes to a created thing (human free will) that which belongs only to the uncreated God: autonomous, self-sustained, self-causation.

 

What is an autonomous Free Will?

 

Autonomous Free Will teaches that men in both unregenerate and regenerate states is completely independent and capable of self-determination of what is good and bad for him (hence the term autonomous) and from which make decision without any external divine influence or swaying to a particular direction.

  1. Autonomy - Libertarian Free will violates the autonomous character of God by making God's decisions regarding the salvation of people, conditioned upon sinful man's, sovereign, autonomous free will. God is then not autonomous in all his decisions but who he saves is dependent on peoples' free-will choice. Yet, the Bible says...

    1. John 1:12-13, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
    2. Rom. 9:16, "So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy."
    3. Eph. 1:11, "also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will." This demonstrates that God is self-willed and autonomous.

[*]Sovereignty - It means that God is not sovereign over his creation to do as he wishes - including the free will choices of sinners, yet...

  1. Isaiah 46:10, “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’”
  2. Isaiah 55:8-9, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
  3. Dan. 4:35, "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’"
  4. Acts 4:27-28, "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."
  5. Acts 13:48, "When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."
  6. Rom. 9:16, "So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy."
  7. Eph. 1:11, "also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."

In the Garden of Eden, the devil advocated independence from God when he suggested that Eve should make the decision to eat the forbidden fruit so that she would know good and evil. In this, Satan was moving her away from complete dependence on God's word, to independence from God's word. Libertarian free will is reminiscent of this error when it advocates a free will that is independent of God's sovereignty.

 

III. Refutation of the Arminian argument of autonomous self

 

Now I desire to refute biblically a familiar argument in regard to God’s sovereignty in salvation and other events that though they may not explicitly subscribe to the Pelagianism but they actually are. In addition, I also attempt to show the spirit behind all these arguments tends to resemble that of Lucifer as written in Isaiah 14:13-14. Before I go on doing so, however, I would like to point out ‘the goal of the commandment is love’. I can understand new Christians who believe in autonomous self, because I was like that. I tend to think it is natural for new Christians to have such an understanding of how salvation and all the affairs in the world work. I acknowledge I need the humility to understand those who are slow to grasp the truth in the sovereignty of God over all things. The fact is the LORD had mercy on me to reveal what I consider a precious biblical truth of his sovereignty that I have come to love, embrace, and desire to defend with hopefully a holy zeal, holy motive, yet with humility as well in this article. And may the LORD grant the grace to change and transform hearts and minds into ones that acknowledge and submit under his sovereignty and supremacy over all things (Col 1:18).

 

A common free-will Arminian / Pelagian argument which was the first Arminian article in their remonstrance brought by Johannes Uitenbogaard and Simon Episcopious in 1610, which was refuted by the Calvinists’ Counter Remonstrance at the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619, in regard to how salvation works as follows. God’s foreknowledge, that is, divine election was condition in foreseen or foreknown faith, the basis of which is for example in Rom 8:29, refers to God knowing in advance of who is going to believe by their own free will and who is not, and from there God elects them to be saved. Thus man’s faith existing apart from God’s will but from the man himself is the cause of God’s election. In other words, it all starts with man’s free will to choose to be saved. Men are the Alpha, the beginning, not God. Then based on each independent isolated individual’s decision to believe or to desire to be saved where God has nothing to do with because this comes out completely and independently from man and not God, God is obliged to save them because they have faith to believe. Here man calls God to account and demands that because he initiates to believe the Gospel, God is required to save them. So God’s sovereignty consists in submitting himself to and making sure the wills of men are carried out. God is not free in ordaining anything because He is subject to the will of men that he values very much even more important and above himself. Here is the worst kind, the most blatant, the most arrogant, and the most blasphemous of man-centered doctrine that is nowhere taught in the Bible, and an example how the Scripture like Rom 8:29 is distorted to serve man’s needs or if I may borrow John Piper’s quote, the gospel has been abused for ‘psychological form of mind control’. I regard this Arminian stand on the free agency of man and God as the most self-centered among man-centered doctrines, even more man-centered than opentheism. Opentheism at least admits the future is unknown, even God has no control over it and anybody could change it. The Arminian doctrine in regard to the free-will of men as we have discussed is worse than open-theism because it teaches the future is already known, at least in regard to salvation, who is saved and who is not, and who makes this decision before the foundation of the world is men. Then God responds to each individual decision either by saving or condemning. Here is the kind of abomination that I dread has been prevailing in the minds of many Christians, because this is how they were taught by man-centered, world-loving, money-loving preachers. Those who teach this doctrine usually insist that God is still sovereign and omnipotent. But I sense this is simply a futile attempt to cover up their self-centeredness and thus, self-idolatry. God, despite his omnipotence, has been domesticated to serve man’s needs. His omnipotence has become subordinate to man’s will and it is his to use for his benefit. Man makes the call first independently out of his own self-determination of good and bad. Then it is God’s turn to follow up on man’s actions and decisions, whether to clean them up if they are sinful, or to bless them if they are good. As Mark Talbot says (he explains it in the context of opentheism, but I believe it is applicable here as well) that the doctrine of autonomous self teaches that God values man’s free will so much that he is willing to pay any price. God is really good in cleaning things up to the point that the alternative plan B that he executes looks even better, more perfect than the botched plan A that man has frustrated. So in a way, the doctrine of autonomous self treats God like a lackey or a genie in a bottle whom man can stir as he pleases and wills. Everything God does is for the benefits of man, and here is man, the center of the universe and God’s idol. Therefore, men are not only the Alpha, the beginning, but also the Omega, the end of everything God does and the whole entire universe work for. This is indeed the desire behind those who embrace the doctrine of autonomous self which is nothing but the very ambition of Lucifer to be exalted above God (Isa 14:13-14). It is all about desire for control, as Dave Wells pointed out behind autonomous self: https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...idden-idolatry

 

 

God bless,

William

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IF indicates a choice or free will. You can't have consequences if you don't have free will. If we have no free will, we make God a liar, for you shall not die if you do not mortify the deeds of your body and live after the flesh.

 

No Calvinist rejects us having a choice. You have the choice to flap your arms like a bird and reach the heavens. You have a choice to go under the ocean and breath the water like a fish. The point is you'll never reach the heavens though you may choose to flap your arms like a bird all day long, and you'll never survive under water if you breath the water like a fish. You are grounded in your human nature. Nobody does anything contrary to their nature.

 

Likewise, the natural man is bound by a Sin Nature/Original Sin. That is unless you're arguing that the natural man is not bound by Sin Nature?

 

God bless,

William

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Likewise, man is bound by a Sin Nature/Original Sin. That is unless you're arguing that man is not bound by Sin Nature?

 

God bless,

William

 

Not once he is sanctified, following salvation, to a pre-adamic state truly being like Christ, and free from the adamic nature.

 

1Jn_1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

We can be forgiven for sins committed, and made free from the sin nature(all unrighteousness).

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All you've shared are verses that establish that an offering is to be made free from under the compulsion of law.

The term "freewill" and the Hebrew word from which it is derived, as well as the whole tenor of Scripture, establishes that free will goes well beyond the offerings under the Law. Please note carefully (Joshua 24:15-22):

 

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 

16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

 

17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

 

18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

 

19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

 

20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

 

21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

 

22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

 

Please note the use of "choose" and "chosen" which goes well beyond offerings, and is a choice to either serve and obey the LORD, or not serve Him and obey Him. So if you wish to call this autonomous or libertarian free will, then so it is. But the fact remains that in spite of the sin nature, men can and do make free will choices to serve the Lord.

 

When it comes to believing the Gospel and receiving Christ, there is no doubt that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit work on the sinner to bring him to repentance. But in the end, God compels no one to be saved, and all men must freely choose Christ. If it were not so, God would have compelled all Israel to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. After all Israel was the chosen people. Since few believed on their Messiah, that is conclusive proof that free will was at work.

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The term "freewill" and the Hebrew word from which it is derived, as well as the whole tenor of Scripture, establishes that free will goes well beyond the offerings under the Law. Please note carefully (Joshua 24:15-22):

 

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 

16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

 

17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

 

18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

 

19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

 

20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

 

21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

 

22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

 

Please note the use of "choose" and "chosen" which goes well beyond offerings, and is a choice to either serve and obey the LORD, or not serve Him and obey Him. So if you wish to call this autonomous or libertarian free will, then so it is. But the fact remains that in spite of the sin nature, men can and do make free will choices to serve the Lord.

 

When it comes to believing the Gospel and receiving Christ, there is no doubt that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit work on the sinner to bring him to repentance. But in the end, God compels no one to be saved, and all men must freely choose Christ. If it were not so, God would have compelled all Israel to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. After all Israel was the chosen people. Since few believed on their Messiah, that is conclusive proof that free will was at work.

 

How about addressing verse 19 and 20? In consideration of verse 21 lets go to Judges 2.

 

What would cause Joshua to say that they were unable to serve the Lord? Simply put, this was a declaration stating that he knew the people were unable out of their own moral fortitude to serve the Lord. He offers them a stark warning of their decision, lest out of haste they have decided to serve the Lord out of insincerity.

 

Verse 22 you're pointing out the choice of a believer. Joshua is the one, because he is a God-fearing, regenerate believer, who declares, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.That should always be the declaration of the believer in Christ, regardless of the idolatrous decisions that others, even self-professed believers, might make.

 

As we conclude, verse 31 of this chapter tells us that the people actually did serve the Lord for the remainder of Joshua’s days. However, immediately after his death, we read of apostasy and idolatry again on behalf of Israel, Judges 2:1-6.

 

Lemme get this straight. Your definition now is man is a moral free agent. His will is free to choose to do good or to do evil. Man has as much right to not accept Gods grace as much as he can not accept sin. If mans will is free, then he is not bound by sin, thus he is morally neutral. He is neither good nor bad and not bound by either?

 

I want to be crystal clear, and I hope you keep going, because I see you backing yourself up in a Pelagian corner.

 

And to clarify:

 

Pelagius believed that man had not been entirely corrupted by Adam’s fall and that he could, by his own free will, do works that pleased God, and thus be saved. This led Pelagius to deny the doctrines of original sin and predestination, and to deny the need for special grace to be saved. Essentially, he believed that man is basically good and moral and that even pagans can enter heaven through their virtuous moral actions.

 

Pelagianism is what you align with theologically? Correct? If not, please elaborate on how your doctrine differs?

 

God bless,

William

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Pelagius believed that man had not been entirely corrupted by Adam’s fall and that he could, by his own free will, do works that pleased God, and thus be saved. This led Pelagius to deny the doctrines of original sin and predestination, and to deny the need for special grace to be saved. Essentially, he believed that man is basically good and moral and that even pagans can enter heaven through their virtuous moral actions.

Let's look at the false doctrine of Pelagius (as summarized here, so we will assume that the summary accurately reflects Pelagius):

 

Pelagius believed that man had not been entirely corrupted by Adam’s fall -- the words "entirely corrupted" are not found in Scripture pertaining to how mankind was affected by Adam's fall. What Scripture says is Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Rom 5:12). Which means that all men are sinners because of Adam, and all have also sinned by their own choice. This does not automatically mean that all men are continuously evil, since the Bible says that even the Gentiles who have no Law are governed by their conscience and do right accordingly (Rom 2:12-29).

 

and that he could, by his own free will, do works that pleased God, and thus be saved. That is totally false, since Scripture says that no man can be saved by good works:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Rom 3:23,24).

 

This led Pelagius to deny the doctrines of original sin -- since "original sin" means humankind are all sinners because of Adam, this is obviously false.

 

and predestination -- since predestination is NOT for salvation but for glorification, then predestination does not apply, and this is neither here nor there.

 

and to deny the need for special grace to be saved -- if by "special grace" it is meant that the power of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit are not necessary for salvation, then this is obviously false.

 

Essentially, he believed that man is basically good and moral -- this is obviously false, since As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Rom 3:10)

 

and that even pagans can enter heaven through their virtuous moral actions -- this is utter nonsense since no sinner can enter Heaven without the blood and righteousness of Christ applied to his soul.

 

So in fact, I reject Pelagianism as false doctrine, and I also reject Calvinism as false doctrine. As I indicated in another thread, there is another option, which is Biblicism. And Biblicism teaches that all sinners do have free will, all are invited to be saved, and none are compelled to be saved.

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So in fact, I reject Pelagianism as false doctrine, and I also reject Calvinism as false doctrine. As I indicated in another thread, there is another option, which is Biblicism. And Biblicism teaches that all sinners do have free will, all are invited to be saved, and none are compelled to be saved.

 

Inconsistent is how your theology can be best described. Scripture nowhere teaches that man has an autonomous or libertarian free will. How about addressing the previous replies, it doesn't seem that you actually take context into account, but rather isolate verses. Anyone can search Scripture using a concordance to find their favorite keyword and then post it as a proof text. Post number 23 is still waiting for you to address it, instead of "cherry picking" what you want to reply to, how about addressing the difficult verses that do not agree with you?

 

You're about as Pelagian as they come, but try to pigeon hole you and you're all over the place.

 

God bless,

William

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