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atpollard

Men cannot choose to be saved

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2 Corinthians 4:1-6 NASB

1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

 

The world is full of people who want to tell me all about how Men (and Women) choose to accept the gift that Jesus offers (or not) and their damnation is, therefore, not God's fault ... unlike what those 'Calvinists' teach. Furthermore, I have no real objection to talking about it. So, let's jump in and start with the heart of the matter. No scripture pong.

 

I read 2 Corinthians 4 and I see Paul saying that the devil (god of this world) has blinded the minds of the lost so they cannot comprehend the Gospel. The lost are completely incapable of choosing to follow Jesus (under their own power). Then I read 2 Corinthians 4:6 and see a claim that it is God who provided the light of knowledge of the Gospel in us. That is the meat of 'Calvinism'. Salvation is 'Monergistic' (God does the change all by himself) because people are blind and incapable of making the choice without God's supernatural effort.

 

So to anyone who disagrees, I step down from my soap box and invite you to explain to me how I have misunderstood this passage in 2 Corinthians. I welcome the dialogue.

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Paul isn't teaching no man can choose to believe. He's saying God works through circumstance:

 

"...by the manifestation of truth."

 

He's referring to Jesus' ministry, which people who love sin reject by claiming the Apostles were distorting scripture and vaunting themselves (and it's no divergent today)

which Paul corrects by saying:

 

"...not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God...we do not preach ourselves..."

 

So Paul isn't saying, "Nobody can believe", but rather God entered his life and will enter anyone who believes the gospel:

 

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

 

BTW brother, the idea that people are incapable of believing is easily disproven. Give me an outrageous story and any 5 year old and in 15 minutes I'll have that kid believing it.

​​​​​​

 

 

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I read 2 Corinthians 4 and I see Paul saying that the devil (god of this world) has blinded the minds of the lost so they cannot comprehend the Gospel. The lost are completely incapable of choosing to follow Jesus (under their own power).

 

In addition,

  • John 8:44-45 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

The devil is said to be the father of those whose understandings he blinds, whose hearts he moves to commit all unrighteousness. "What we desire to do, we will do" expresses the determination of the will.

 

Blinding is performed by both God and the Devil.

 

Calvin writes:

 

Scripture, however, teaches that Satan blinds men, (443) not merely with God’s permission, but even by his command, that he may execute his vengeance. Thus Ahab was deceived by Satan, (1 Kings 22:21,) but could Satan have done this of himself? By no means; but having offered to God his services for inflicting injury, he was sent to be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. (1 Kings 22:22.)

 

Nay more, the reason why God is said to blind men is, that after having deprived us of the right exercise of the understanding, and the light of his Spirit, he delivers us over to the devil, to be hurried forward by him to a reprobate mind, (Rom 1:28,) gives him the power of deception, and by this means inflicts just vengeance upon us by the minister of his wrath. Paul’s meaning, therefore, is, that all are possessed by the devil, who do not acknowledge his doctrine to be the sure truth of God. For it is more severe to call them slaves of the devil, than to ascribe their blindness to the judgment of God. As, however, he had a little before adjudged such persons to destruction, (2 Co 4:3,) he now adds that they perish, for no other reason than that they have drawn down ruin upon themselves, as the effect of their own unbelief.

 

God bless,

William

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Paul isn't saying, "Nobody can believe"....................

 

...........the idea that people are incapable of believing is easily disproven. Give me an outrageous story and any 5 year old and in 15 minutes I'll have that kid believing it.​​​​

 

Hi Journeyman, I'll grant that on the one hand, believing is easy. After all, even the demons believe in God and tremble because they do .. e.g. James 2:19. So, since we know that the demons "believe", does that also mean that they are saved?

 

If not, why not?

 

Thanks!

 

--David

Romans 3

10 as it is written,

THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,

THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;

12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;

THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,

THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.

 

 

 

 

Edited by David Lee
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BTW brother, the idea that people are incapable of believing is easily disproven. Give me an outrageous story and any 5 year old and in 15 minutes I'll have that kid believing it.

First, let me acknowledge that "believe" was a bad choice of words on my part and a good catch for you to call me on it. Well done.

 

The issue I have is that 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 DOES say that "our gospel" is "veiled to those who are perishing" because their minds have been BLINDED. A blind man cannot choose to see light no matter how much he might desire to see it. The choice is not his. Sight is not within his power, because he IS a blind man. Only if someone first cures him of his blindness can he see. And if he is cured of his blindness, the choice to see is still not really his to make. If he is not blind, he cannot help but see. He has the choice to act or not act based upon what he sees, but he cannot refuse to see the light.

 

So is it with us. When we were in our old life, we were blind to the light and truth of God and his Gospel. That is what the Bible says over and over in so many different ways. When God chooses to open our eyes to the light of His Gospel, we have no choice but to see it. Just like it says in 2 Corinthians 4:6.

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I grew up in a good Bible teaching church. I could probably have led someone to Christ with the knowledge I had. But I hadn't accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior until I was a young teen. I'd felt the convicting power of the Holy Spirit several times and I know how it feels to resist the Holy Spirit. But after a while I Did make sure of my salvation. Our pastor was speaking about the fact that a person could accept Christ anywhere / anyplace. No one had to walk down an aisle to the front of the church in order to 'accept Christ'. And if a person wasn't completely sure of their salvation --instead of fretting about it -- take time to make Sure of it. Which I did while sitting listening to a sermon. I went through all the steps and thanked Him For his gift Of salvation. And Then I felt an inner peace -- I knew 'it' had worked.

 

The Holy Spirit draws and the person accepts at some point in their life. God is the only one who knows who will accept and who will decline. Each person has to make that choice -- we either accept or decline. Like the Christmas gift under the tree. It's There, but isn't Ours Until we accept the gift.

 

And I've known people who Have actively rejected Him. At least I've Shared.

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The issue I have is that 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 DOES say that "our gospel" is "veiled to those who are perishing" because their minds have been BLINDED.

 

It doesn't say they are perishing because they were veiled

 

Why are they perishing? because they continue to live in there sin. What happens when we continue to sin?

 

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

 

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

 

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

 

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

 

28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

 

 

God gives man over to their sinful desires. When we continue to sin over and over, we lose touch with the Holy Spirit. At first we are convicted of our sin, but after time and continual sin we no longer feel his conviction . They are perishing in their sin. The Holy Spirit has left them and they are blind to sin

 

 

Does scripture tell us they were blinded first, or did they know God first?

 

 

 

 

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Nay more, the reason why God is said to blind men is, that after having deprived us of the right exercise of the understanding, and the light of his Spirit, he delivers us over to the devil, to be hurried forward by him to a reprobate mind, (Rom 1:28,)

 

I don't think I fully understand this quote from Calvin.

 

We are not blinded before we reject him or before we sin. Romans 1:28 said THEY did not want to retain the knowledge of God. They knew God, but they did not want remember him, so God gave them over to their sinful desires

 

The blinding comes after sin

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Hi Journeyman, I'll grant that on the one hand, believing is easy. After all, even the demons believe in God and tremble when they do .. e.g. byJames 2:19. So, since we know that the demons "believe", does that also mean that they are saved?

 

If not, why not?

 

Thanks!

 

--David

No brother demons aren't saved, because their believing isn't enough to save them. In fact, demons don't need faith in God, because they know He is, but they are filled with dread before Him and terrified believing what's coming for them. Demons are quite insane.

 

As for children, Paul said:

 

"For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Rom.7:9

 

He means before he knew the law he was alive spiritually. Which leads to to passage you cited in Romans.

 

Romans 3

10 as it is written,

THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,

THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;

12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;

THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,

THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.

Paul is speaking of those who know the law, either by Moses or conscience. By "all have sinned", he means not only Jews, but gentiles also and the description of the people he's talking about leaves no doubt he doesn't mean God sees us guilty that way simply being born into this world.

 

 

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First, let me acknowledge that "believe" was a bad choice of words on my part and a good catch for you to call me on it. Well done.

 

The issue I have is that 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 DOES say that "our gospel" is "veiled to those who are perishing" because their minds have been BLINDED. A blind man cannot choose to see light no matter how much he might desire to see it. The choice is not his. Sight is not within his power, because he IS a blind man. Only if someone first cures him of his blindness can he see. And if he is cured of his blindness, the choice to see is still not really his to make. If he is not blind, he cannot help but see. He has the choice to act or not act based upon what he sees, but he cannot refuse to see the light.

 

So is it with us. When we were in our old life, we were blind to the light and truth of God and his Gospel. That is what the Bible says over and over in so many different ways. When God chooses to open our eyes to the light of His Gospel, we have no choice but to see it. Just like it says in 2 Corinthians 4:6.

Brother, if someone blinds you, you're not blind to begin with. Its walking away from God that puts people in darkness:

 

"Remember now thyCreator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." Ecc.12:1

 

"The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead." Pro.21:16

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Brother, if someone blinds you, you're not blind to begin with. Its walking away from God that puts people in darkness

 

The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f). The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God's making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).

 

God bless,

William

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Brother, if someone blinds you, you're not blind to begin with. Its walking away from God that puts people in darkness:

But that is just it, MY empirical experience contradicts your claim. I WAS born spiritually blind and dead. My mother is Catholic in name only and my father openly scoffed at religion as a crutch for the weak. Evidence from the lives of my grandparents and their children suggest that neither they nor their parents gave more than a token nod to church on Christmas and Easter (if even then). I embraced atheism to avoid the hypocrisy of pretending to believe in a God that "from my youth" I had been taught was no more real than Santa or the Easter Bunny.

 

So the discovery that God had chosen and was calling me came as more than a little surprise.

 

 

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound,

That saves a wretch like me.

 

I once was lost,

But now am found;

Was blind but now I see!

 

 

To which I say, Yes and AMEN!

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The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12).

Yes, his own sins, not Adams' and until he comes to faith in Christ. Paul is continuing his example (from ch.4) how Abraham was a gentile when saved by believing God without the "work" of the law (circumcision).

​​​

Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f).

This is why God pours out His Spirit on all humanity by the preaching of the gospel. In Mark 4, Jesus uses the parable of the sower to show how different people react to the gospel. His point isn't that nobody can understand Him, but that understanding and growth comes from a heart toward God. He doesn't mean, "I speak in parables because I don't want them to be saved." He means, "I speak in parables so only the faithful understand Me." That's why He quoted Isaiah:

 

"...lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."

 

The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God's making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).

 

God bless,

William

The knowledge of God is imparted by the preaching of the gospel:

 

"so that we (Jews ), who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. And when you[b [b](gentiles)[/b] heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) - when you believed in Christ - you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit," Eph.1:12-13

 

God bless you also William and those you hold dear.

 

 

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But that is just it, MY empirical experience contradicts your claim. I WAS born spiritually blind and dead. My mother is Catholic in name only and my father openly scoffed at religion as a crutch for the weak. Evidence from the lives of my grandparents and their children suggest that neither they nor their parents gave more than a token nod to church on Christmas and Easter (if even then). I embraced atheism to avoid the hypocrisy of pretending to believe in a God that "from my youth" I had been taught was no more real than Santa or the Easter Bunny.

 

So the discovery that God had chosen and was calling me came as more than a little surprise.

 

 

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound,

That saves a wretch like me.

 

I once was lost,

But now am found;

Was blind but now I see!

 

 

To which I say, Yes and AMEN!

 

Brother, you're not proving you're point. You're proving mine...that the knowledge of God comes from teaching. Your mom was uncommitted. Your dad scoffed. Your grandparents were lukewarm.

 

I was a drug addict, until I cried (literally) to the Lord and I had only heard about Jesus much the same way you did growing up. Then while hitchhiking, I met a Christian who taught me about Jesus. At the time, I didn't associate meeting this believer with the tear filled prayed I made, but that's the way God answered me.

 

 

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This is why God pours out His Spirit on all humanity by the preaching of the gospel. In Mark 4, Jesus uses the parable of the sower to show how different people react to the gospel. His point isn't that nobody can understand Him, but that understanding and growth comes from a heart toward God. He doesn't mean, "I speak in parables because I don't want them to be saved." He means, "I speak in parables so only the faithful understand Me." That's why He quoted Isaiah:

 

"...lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."

  • Exodus 4:11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

It is in God’s power to make a man understanding, seeing or blind, and to bind or to loosen men’s tongues at any moment. All means and events are in God’s hands, so that nothing may stand in the way.

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 is pretty explicit, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."

Why are they not able to spiritually discern? Because they are spiritually dead:

  • And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

This points to the timing of Regeneration. Regeneration precedes faith which is a gift. This point is reiterated again in Ephesians 2:8-9. Ask yourself what about faith?

  • 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Man is dead. He is incapable of choosing without being first made alive. No one dead rejects the monergistic work of God in regeneration.

 

In the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, Christ says that one cannot "see" let alone "enter" the kingdom of heaven without being born again or from above (regeneration). Not only do they not see nor can they enter, they cannot even draw near the object of faith - Jesus Christ John 6:44. Quite frankly, without monergism preaching the word of God and expecting results in the natural man requires "blind faith", that is, apart from the works of God.

 

Christ's conversation with Nicodemus was an allusion to Ezekiel 36:25-27. The Ordo Salutis is the same throughout the entire Scriptures, that is, OT and NT. When Jesus asked Nicodemus how is it that he can be a teacher of Israel and not know this refers to what is known through the available Scriptures to Nicodemus in his time:

  • 25I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.[a]

Clearly "I will" points the monergistic works of God alone in Salvation.

 

Furthermore, you are mistaking the Gospel invitation or the outward call with the inward call and regeneration. But you refer to the parable in Mark 4. Lets entertain that for a moment. The heart of man is stony by nature, this is why it is necessary for the monergistic work of God in regeneration. The Holy Spirit is the conditioner of the soil, the condition by which we receive, He and His works are the ploughboy which others are merely the instrument. 1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. There is nothing in Mark 4 and 1 Corinthians 3:6 to indicate synergism in salvation.

 

Men and women, as they are by nature as the result of the fall, are at enmity against God. ‘The carnal mind … is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God’ Romans 8:7–8. To me that is a final statement. Men and women by nature are opposed to God; they hate God and they are not interested in Him, neither are they interested in the things of God. From that statement of the Apostle I deduce that the internal work of the Spirit is an absolute necessity before anyone can possibly believe in the gospel of God and accept it and rejoice in it.

 

God bless,

William

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Yes, his own sins, not Adams' and until he comes to faith in Christ. Paul is continuing his example (from ch.4) how Abraham was a gentile when saved by believing God without the "work" of the law (circumcision).

​​​

This is why God pours out His Spirit on all humanity by the preaching of the gospel. In Mark 4, Jesus uses the parable of the sower to show how different people react to the gospel. His point isn't that nobody can understand Him, but that understanding and growth comes from a heart toward God. He doesn't mean, "I speak in parables because I don't want them to be saved." He means, "I speak in parables so only the faithful understand Me." That's why He quoted Isaiah:

"...lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."

The knowledge of God is imparted by the preaching of the gospel:

"so that we (Jews ), who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. And when you[b [b](gentiles)[/b] heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) - when you believed in Christ - you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit," <a class="rtBibleRef" href="https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Eph.1.12-13" data-reference="Eph.1.12-13" data-version="esv" data-purpose="bible-reference" target="_blank">Eph.1:12-13</a>

God bless you also William and those you hold dear.

But how can they have a heart towards God? They would then have something to boast about, a good heart. And Scripture clearly tells us that none seek God Rom.3.10-11; John 10.24-27 shows that only the sheep understand. 27 My sheep hear my voice and follow me.

 

Matthew 16:13-17 shows that the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ comes from the Father in heaven, it must be placed in the believer so when they hear it they know it's true.

​​

.

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  • Exodus 4:11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

It is in God’s power to make a man understanding, seeing or blind, and to bind or to loosen men’s tongues at any moment. All means and events are in God’s hands, so that nothing may stand in the way.

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 is pretty explicit, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."

Why are they not able to spiritually discern? Because they are spiritually dead:

  • And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once twalked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

This points to the timing of Regeneration. Regeneration precedes faith which is a gift. This point is reiterated again in Ephesians 2:8-9. Ask yourself what about faith?

  • 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Man is dead. He is incapable of choosing without being first made alive. No one dead rejects the monergistic work of God in regeneration.

 

In the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, Christ says that one cannot "see" let alone "enter" the kingdom of heaven without being born again or from above (regeneration). Not only do they not see nor can they enter, they cannot even draw near the object of faith - Jesus Christ John 6:44. Quite frankly, without monergism preaching the word of God and expecting results in the natural man requires "blind faith", that is, apart from the works of God.

 

Christ's conversation with Nicodemus was an allusion to Ezekiel 36:25-27. The Ordo Salutis is the same throughout the entire Scriptures, that is, OT and NT. When Jesus asked Nicodemus how is it that he can be a teacher of Israel and not know this refers to what is known through the available Scriptures to Nicodemus in his time:

  • 25I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.[a]

Clearly "I will" points the monergistic works of God alone in Salvation.

 

Furthermore, you are mistaking the Gospel invitation or the outward call with the inward call and regeneration. But you refer to the parable in Mark 4. Lets entertain that for a moment. The heart of man is stony by nature, this is why it is necessary for the monergistic work of God in regeneration. The Holy Spirit is the conditioner of the soil, the condition by which we receive, He and His works are the ploughboy which others are merely the instrument. 1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. There is nothing in Mark 4 and 1 Corinthians 3:6 to indicate synergism in salvation.

 

Men and women, as they are by nature as the result of the fall, are at enmity against God. ‘The carnal mind … is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God’ Romans 8:7–8. To me that is a final statement. Men and women by nature are opposed to God; they hate God and they are not interested in Him, neither are they interested in the things of God. From that statement of the Apostle I deduce that the internal work of the Spirit is an absolute necessity before anyone can possibly believe in the gospel of God and accept it and rejoice in it.

 

God bless,

William

I get what you mean, but when Paul says the natural man can't comprehend the things of God, he means the man of flesh, because he loves the things of the flesh. Moses said:

 

"And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land, the great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles. Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day." Deut.29:2-4

 

Moses didn't mean God, because He is Soverign and without any reason people could understand, didn't want to reveal Himself to them. He meant stiff necked people cannot know God. He isn't saying they couldn't repent. He's saying they wouldn't repent.

 

 

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But how can they have a heart towards God? They would then have something to boast about, a good heart. And Scripture clearly tells us that none seek God Rom.3.10-11; John 10.24-27 shows that only the sheep understand. 27 My sheep hear my voice and follow me.

 

Matthew 16:13-17 shows that the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ comes from the Father in heaven, it must be placed in the believer so when they hear it they know it's true.

​​

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Brother, the "prodigal son" didn't think "I'm going to repent because I'm great." He realized he was a filthy sinner and there's no pride in that.

 

On the other hand, Pharaoh refused to repent, but not because God wouldn't allow him to. God "hardened his heart" by sending a nobody (Moses) to him, not with a request, but a demand. Pharaoh was worshipped by his people as a god. God didn't need to do anything to harden Pharaohs' heart, other than sending a shepherd to him.

 

 

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I get what you mean, but

 

Journeyman,

 

It would help if you acknowledge what is put to you by saying I agree or disagree, and then offering your reasoning.

 

Because God first regenerates us, and freed our will from sin, He thereby allowed us to be able to choose Him. Regeneration precedes faith. The regenerated person is no longer the slave of sin (Rom. 6:6) and is therefore able to desire God. He then DOES choose God.

 

This act of regeneration is what God does. Our believing is something God has given us: "For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Phil. 1:29); Also, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent'" (John 6:29); And, "...and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48).

 

This is also why we are born again not by our own wills, but the will of God: "But as many as received Him...[these] 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).

 

God bless,

William

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Brother, the "prodigal son" didn't think "I'm going to repent because I'm great." He realized he was a filthy sinner and there's no pride in that.

 

On the other hand, Pharaoh refused to repent, but not because God wouldn't allow him to. God "hardened his heart" by sending a nobody (Moses) to him, not with a request, but a demand. Pharaoh was worshipped by his people as a god. God didn't need to do anything to harden Pharaohs' heart, other than sending a shepherd to him.

 

 

We don't want to add more meaning than what's there in the prodigal son parable.

But one could boast that they are smarter than others, or more honest than others as reasons to repent.

 

God hardened Pharaohs heart so that him would continue to oppress the Jews. Moses told him of his choice and because of his hardened heart continued.

But what I don't see in Scripture is that Moses was used to harden his heart.

 

The order is: God's warning then hardening then refusal.

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But how can they have a heart towards God? They would then have something to boast about, a good heart. And Scripture clearly tells us that none seek God Rom.3.10-11; John 10.24-27 shows that only the sheep understand. 27 My sheep hear my voice and follow me

 

But one could boast that they are smarter than others, or more honest than others as reasons to repent.

 

I am not sure how the boasting helps your argument. Because if man cannot choose to be saved, what greater boast could their be, then God chose me and not you

 

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I am not sure how the boasting helps your argument. Because if man cannot choose to be saved, what greater boast could their be, then God chose me and not you

 

Because there is be nothing within me to boast about. And I don't who all of God's elect are.

 

We can see Paul boasted properly though, that in his weakness God's strength was manifest. What could Paul or any boast about? I'm proud to have been the chief of sinners?

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Journeyman,

 

It would help if you acknowledge what is put to you by saying I agree or disagree, and then offering your reasoning.

That's why I posted how God didn't give them eyes to see because of their constant rebellion. Your usage of Ex4:11 to show that it is God who "makes" blind is only sensible in the system ordained by God, because it is actually sin that blinds people, not God per se:

 

"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God...you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness..." Deut.15,29

​​​​​

 

Because God first regenerates us,

No, first He created us with the ability to reason. This is why He says:

 

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD..." Isa.1:18

 

and freed our will from sin, He thereby allowed us to be able to c

​choose him. Regeneration precedes faith. The regenerated person is no longer the slave of sin (Rom. 6:6) and is therefore able to desire God. He then DOES choose God.

Faith is the beginning of being born again and is obtained by experiences God allows in this world, as one example:

 

"...many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did." Jn.2:23

 

And we are freed from sin by obeying Jesus:

 

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Rom.6:16

 

This act of regeneration is what God does. Our believing is something God has given us: "For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake"

(Phil. 1:29);

Most people in churches today are unaware of how the gospel proclaimed throughout all of scripture has been bastardized:

 

"And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God." Phil.1:28

 

So when Paul says:

 

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake;" vs.29

 

He's means believing Jesus suffered unjustly. Do you understand? Paul isn't teaching, "God wanted you, but not those other people." He's saying Jesus wasn't punished by God for the sin of mankind. He was wrongfully punished by mankind for preaching the gospel. That Jesus suffered unjustly was given to the Philippians and they should expect the same kind of treatment.

 

Also, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent'" (John 6:29);

Yes, God has ordained believers will live, unbelievers won't and this is why Jesus said:

 

​​​"...how often would I have gathered thy children together..." Lk.13:34

 

Do you understand Jesus desired unbelievers to come to Him?

​​​​​

 

And, "...and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48).

They believed the reasoning of Paul and Barnabas, the prophecy of gentiles coming to God.

 

This is also why we are born again not by our own wills, but the will of God: "But as many as received Him...[these] 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).

God bless,

William

Yes, mankind had nothing to do with how God ordained salvation is attained. Salvation is given to anyone who will receive Him.

 

 

 

Edited by journeyman
typo

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We don't want to add more meaning than what's there in the prodigal son parable.

But one could boast that they are smarter than others, or more honest than others as reasons to repent.

No brother, boasters talk about how great they are, not what sinners they are.

 

God hardened Pharaohs heart so that him would continue to oppress the Jews. Moses told him of his choice and because of his hardened heart continued.

He continued because of his pride. That's all.

 

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But what I don't see in Scripture is that Moses was used to harden his heart.

If you were an evil king and some nobody came to you demanding you release your slaves, would God have to do anything to you to deny that demand?

 

The order is: God's warning then hardening then refusal.

The order is God warning, then either belief, or unbelief.

Edited by journeyman
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Faith is the beginning of being born again and is obtained by experiences God allows in this world, as one example:

 

"...many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did." Jn.2:23

 

What your verse taken from out of context tells me is that you'll dig your heels in to defend your misunderstanding at no length just so you'll be right.

 

Read the verse you shared in its context:

  • John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.
  • John 2:24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people
  • John 2:25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

The faith here was not true and genuine, their faith depended solely on miracles, and had no root in the Gospel, and therefore could not be permanent.

 

You are contending that man must first do something in order to be born from above, Mr Nicodemus. It is evident that you do not understand the TULIP and the Scriptural truths they point to. I suggest you read post number 15 again and address the Scriptures at hand instead of ignoring them and going to other verses which you seemingly pluck from out of context.

 

God bless,

William

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