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 Re: Regeneration: Forced or Voluntary?

What Jesse is promoting is Pelegianism. This is bad.

Unregenerate man has no free will to "choose to obey" God. His will is bound by the Devil:

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, [b]who are taken captive by him at his will.[/b]

[i]1 Cor. 2:14; "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."[/i]

The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, and HE CAN NOT know them. Eyes to see and ears to hear is something granted by the supernatural revelation of the Spirit, and the ability to obey is a gift of grace. A carnal and unregenerate man cannot obey God unless God grants him the gift of faith with the ability to understand and obey. Regeneration most certainly involves receiving as a gift of grace the ABILITY to obey God by faith, otherwise, man can of his own free will only choose to be in slavery to Satan. "Unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God". He has to be born again before he can see into the Kingdom to obey the King. And the new birth is a gift of God's grace.

[i]Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.[/i]

Unless we are first regenerated and abiding in Christ, we can't bring forth any fruit of obedience to God. We have to be abiding in the True Vine. Without Him we CAN DO NOTHING.

Furthermore, scripture calls us children of wrath by nature (Eph 2:3). You might as well start hoping to see a leopard change his own spots or an Etheopian change the color of his own skin and have more hope of that happening than for a sinner to change his own nature:

Quote:
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.



Scripture says that the unregenerate are blind and deaf to the things of God. You have better luck hoping for a blind man to open his own eyes or for a deaf man to start hearing by human effort than you have of hoping that a sinner can see and hear on his own power to obey the things of God. Christ has to give sight to the blind! Christ alone! The most the blind man can do is look pitifully helpless and lost as he cries out in desperation, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Scripture says we are dead in trespasses and sins. You might as well just as much hope to see Lazarus rise from the dead on his own power as you will see a sinner be born again and choose to obey God on his own power. Only Christ can raise the dead! Christ alone!

Here's a couple quotes I find most true and applicable to refute the original post:

[i]Man's depravity, as a result of the Fall, is total. All men are born into this world spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; the sinner's heart is desperately corrupt. His will is not free; it is in bondage to his evil nature. Therefore, he has lost his ability to choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. It takes more than the Spirit's assistance to bring the sinner to Christ -it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation - it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God. Psalm 51:5, 58:3; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:3, 8:44; Romans 3:10-12, 5:12; Ephesians 2:2-3; I Corinthians 2:14[/i]

[i]"...if man is totally depraved, how is it that he can bring forth so many good things? This question is indeed valid but misunderstands what is meant when we talk about man as being rendered depraved by the fall. So what is meant, then, by the total depravity and spiritual inability of the natural man? It means that man's many good works, even though in accord with God's commands, are not well pleasing to God when weighed against His ultimate criteria and standard of perfection. The love of God and His law is not the unbelievers' deepest animating motive and principle (nor is it his motive at all), so it does not earn him the right to redemptive blessings from a holy God. The Scripture clearly implies this when it states "...without faith it is impossible to please Him." (Hebrews 11:6a, NASB) and "whatever is not from faith is sin." (Romans 14:23)[/i]

 2007/7/7 14:29









 Re:

Josef, all of the Early Church Greek Fathers believed in freewill. For the first 5 centuries of the Church, freewill was a pillar of the faith, questioned only by the pagan philosophers of the day, which the Church Fathers faught viciously against. The Early Fathers even spoke of "self-election" believe it or not. But freewill is not pelagianism, freewill is an unquestioned doctrine of the Early Church and is even classical arminianism. Augustine was the first necessitarian to enter the Church, all the fathers before him were libertarians.

The early church declared the doctrine of synergy as orthodox and sound. I obviously do not believe in the Calvinistic doctrine of Monogism, not the Calvinistic notion that freewill has been lost.

I argue, just as the Early Church - John Fletcher - John Wesley - Charles Finney - argued, that without freewill there can be no moral character. Without the power of contrary choice, there can be no blameworthiness in doing wrong nor reward worthiness of doing right. Moral character is derived from voluntary choices only, and a voluntary choice must be an avoidable choice.

-----------------------------

Dead in sin does not speak about ability any more then dead to sin speaks of ability. If dead in sin means a sinner can't repent, then dead to sin means a Christian cannot sin. Dead is a reference to their voluntary moral condition, not their involuntary moral ability.

Men are most deffinately born physically biased towards gratification, and with a fallen body because of Adam. But free will is not a faculty of the body, but a faculty of the human personality. Even without the body, if man was totally in the spirit, man would still have a freewill.

Regeneration is totally the working of the Holy Spirit, with the cooperation of man. The Holy Spirit draws a man to repentance, convicting him of sin and of righteousness and of judgment to come, and the man yeilds himself up to God, and then God fills the man with the indwelling Holy Spirit.

I listed an abundance of scripture that list the relation of revelation to regeneration.

1. Where is there a scripture that says sinners have their wounded freewill repair, so that they can choose to be converted?

2. Where does the bible ever make a distinction between regeneration and conversion?

 2007/7/7 23:49









 Re:

- If you deny freewill, you must admit involuntary/forced regeneration.

- If you admitt involuntary/forced regeneration, then you must admit personal predestination and personal reprobation.

- If this is all admitted, the only way that you can account for the fact that not everyone is regenerated, is by admitting that God does not want to regenerate everyone, and therefore that God does not want everyone to repent and be converted.

A denial of freewill lays the foundation of Calvinism. And some may disagree with me, but that'a s very dangerous and blasphemous thing, because it denies that God loves everyone and that God wants everyone to be saved.

You would have to say, because of the fact that not everyone is regenerated, that God loves only a small number of people, but actually hates the majority of the people he has created.

The only way you can acknowledge the fact that not everyone is regenerated, without denying the universal love of God, is by admitting that regeneration must be voluntary, that it's a work of the Spirit in changing a cooperating man.

 2007/7/8 2:29
intrcssr83
Member



Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia

 Re:

Quote:
by Lazarus1719 on 2007/7/8 17:29:44

by Lazarus1719 on 2007/7/8 17:29:44

- If you deny freewill, you must admit involuntary/forced regeneration.

- If you admitt involuntary/forced regeneration, then you must admit personal predestination and personal reprobation.

- If this is all admitted, the only way that you can account for the fact that not everyone is regenerated, is by admitting that God does not want to regenerate everyone, and therefore that God does not want everyone to repent and be converted.

A denial of freewill lays the foundation of Calvinism. And some may disagree with me, but that'a s very dangerous and blasphemous thing, because it denies that God loves everyone and that God wants everyone to be saved.

You would have to say, because of the fact that not everyone is regenerated, that God loves only a small number of people, but actually hates the majority of the people he has created.

The only way you can acknowledge the fact that not everyone is regenerated, without denying the universal love of God, is by admitting that regeneration must be voluntary, that it's a work of the Spirit in changing a cooperating man.



By any chance have you read Luther's The Bondage of the Will? It affirms what many call "calvinism" perhaps moreso than Calvin's Institutes


_________________
Benjamin Valentine

 2007/7/8 7:31Profile









 Re:

I have not read Luthers writings on the will. I know Luther was a student of Augustine (Luther studied Augustines works) and Augustine in the 5th Century introduced the idea that man lost his freewill, when that was never taught by the Early Church Fathers, they were libtertarians.

I have also read Edwards on the Will. Who is a necessitarian.

But the best book on FreeWill that I know of is Asa Mahan, who was a libertarian and an associate of Charles G. Finney.

 2007/7/8 7:34
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

ooops!

 2007/7/8 10:47Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
Josef_Urban wrote:
Unregenerate man has no free will to "choose to obey" God. His will is bound by the Devil:

Unregenerate man has no free will to "choose to obey" God. His will is bound by the Devil:

[b]2Timothy 2:24-26[/b] [color=990000]Now a slave of the Lord must not be fighting, but be gentle toward all, apt to teach, bearing with evil,
[b]25[/b] with meekness training those who are antagonizing, seeing whether God may be giving them repentance to come into a realization of the truth,
[b]26[/b] and they will be sobering up out of the trap of the Adversary, [b]having been caught alive by him, for that one's will.[/b][/color]



[color=990000]seeing whether God may be giving them repentance to come into a realization of the truth;[/color]

Seeing whether God give them such a view of the error which they have embraced by instructing those that oppose, that they shall be willing to admit the truth of their way and repent.

[b]Rom 2:4[/b] [color=990000]Or are you despising the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, being ignorant that the kindness of [b]God is [u]leading you[/u] to repentance[/b]?[/color]
Here, repentance is not given as a gift as you imply, but one is lead to repentance. The way one is lead to repentance is by God revealing Himself through His spoken Word to a man by those who preach the Word to instruct with meekness those who are opposing.

This is done by showing the kindness and forbearance and patience of God. This revelation will fashion or build up a man to repent.
[b]2Corinth 7:10[/b] [color=990000]For sorrow according to God is producing repentance for unregretted salvation, yet the sorrow of the world is producing death.[/color]

[b]2Timothy 2:26[/b] [color=990000]And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are [b]taken captive[/b] by him at his will.[/color]
This same saying, " taken captive" is the same as [b]Luk 5:10[/b] [color=990000]And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from now on you shall [b]catch men[/b].[/color]
Therefore, it is by is by revealing God in preaching His word to instruct with meekness those who are opposing.

If one chooses to sin, one chooses to repent.

[b]1 Corinth 2:14[/b] [color=990000]But the natural man receives not the [b]things of the Spirit of God[/b]: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.[/color]Though the natural man receives not the [b]things of the Spirit of God[/b] the natural man is able to receive[color=990000] [b]the things of God[/b] being clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse[/color] [b]Rom 1:20[/b]

Quote:
Josef_Urban wrote:
A carnal and unregenerate man cannot obey God unless God grants him the [b]gift of faith[/b] with the ability to understand and obey.

Please explain what a "gift of beliefe' is.
Faith is belief [b]&[/b] belief is faith, all depends Who or what one has faith in or on [b]or[/b] Who or what one believes in or on.

All men are able/capable to believe, therefore, faith is an inherent concept in his mind.

Quote:
Josef_Urban wrote:
Regeneration most certainly involves receiving as a gift of grace the ABILITY to obey God by faith, otherwise, man can of his own free will only choose to be in slavery to Satan.

if regeneration is not salvation, you have usnsaved people pleasing God by having faith in God to obey Him as you just said in that quote.
However, since regeneration is salvation its self, it involves the ABILITY to obey God by faith.
Furthermore, iF regeneration is not salvation, there is milions of born agains unsaved people out there in limbo. What is the time period between regeneration and salvation? month? day? cirtainly one needs time to count the cost(Luke 14:28-32).
Now, the ABILITY to fully obey God comes from the love for Him, it is not a "gift of grace the ABILITY".

If man can of his own free will only choose to be in slavery to Satan, then man can of his own free will may also choose to respond to God.

Quote:
Josef_Urban wrote:
Furthermore, scripture calls us children of wrath by nature (Eph 2:3). You might as well start hoping to see a leopard change his own spots or an Etheopian change the color of his own skin and have more hope of that happening than for a sinner to change his own nature:

How ever, man is not born a child of wrath, because infants don not fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind;(Eph 2:3)

Quote:
Josef_Urban wrote:
Man's depravity, as a result of the Fall, is total. All men are born into this world spiritually dead,

Is not total, for even Paul admitted before he was saved that he delighted in the requirements of God according to his [b]true self[/b](Rom 7:22)
and
The different set of requirements which were in his members, wared against the standard of his moral conscience(Rom 7:23).
Therefore, if he still had a standard of moral conscience and his inward man delighted in the law of God, there is no such thing as "totlal depravity"
Furthermore, Man can not be born into this world spiritually dead, because spiritually death is the penalty of ones own sin. Man is born into this world innocent of sin.

 2007/7/8 10:47Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Josef, all of the Early Church Greek Fathers believed in freewill. For the first 5 centuries of the Church, freewill was a pillar of the faith, questioned only by the pagan philosophers of the day, which the Church Fathers faught viciously against. The Early Fathers even spoke of "self-election" believe it or not. But freewill is not pelagianism, freewill is an unquestioned doctrine of the Early Church and is even classical arminianism. Augustine was the first necessitarian to enter the Church, all the fathers before him were libertarians.



Don't get me wrong, Jesse. I believe man has a free will. That's undeniable. I never said he didn't. And I never said that man is not personally guilty for sin, because I still hold he is far more guilty than even you make him out to be. The thing I'm saying is that the free will of man is so Hell-bent toward sin and self-destruction as a result of sin entering in and corrupting his heart that apart from the divine influence of the grace of God, that man will choose to do nothing by his own free will except sin and reject God. Man can of his own free will choose to do nothing except earn himself a deeper crevice in the pits of hell except grace open his eyes and convert him. That self-will has to be broken and utterly crushed if he is to come to the end of self and get truly converted.

As to this "self-election" nonsense, I see no such thing in scripture. Scripture, Jesse, scripture. Not ex-pagan Greek theologians, philosophers and apologists that formed much of their doctrine on free-will based on the controversies they were having with heathen philosophers (and don't get me wrong, most of the church fathers [i]were[/i] extraordinary men of God -I study their works myself- but they certainly weren't infallible). If what they say don't line up with scripture, it must be rejected. The same with Finney and Wesley too, even though they were mightily used of God.

This one verse utterly destroys your whole theology:

[b]1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.[/b]

1. It speaks of election according to God's sovereign and unchanging foreknowledge, not according to man's self-will. This utterly demolishes your "self-election" doctrines to powder. And this verse can be cross-referenced to MANY such scriptures that say the same, proving I am keeping it's context in truth.

2. It says "Through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience..." Signifying we must be born again and regenerated by the Holy Spirit before we can follow God "unto obedience". The Spirit comes first, then obedience comes as a result. Unregenerate man cannot obey God. All he can do is sin, sin, sin! The best of his good deeds are but filthy rags! He must be born again, saved by grace through faith, and that not of himself, it is the gift of God.

Joh 1:12 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:
Joh 1:13 [u]Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.[/u]

By the way, I've not ever read a single work of either Augustine, Luther, or Calvin. I don't even agree with or endorse these guys according to my knowledge. My doctrine I get from the Word of God.

And "Logic", dear friend, it appears you are terribly misunderstanding me. Please go back and read my original post. -And yes, regeneration and salvation occur simultaneously in a true convert, just to clarify.

 2007/7/8 17:08









 Re:

Quote:
Don't get me wrong, Jesse. I believe man has a free will. That's undeniable. I never said he didn't. And I never said that man is not personally guilty for sin, because I still hold he is far more guilty than even you make him out to be. The thing I'm saying is that the free will of man is so Hell-bent toward sin and self-destruction as a result of sin entering in and corrupting his heart that apart from the divine influence of the grace of God, that man will choose to do nothing by his own free will except sin and reject God. Man can of his own free will choose to do nothing except earn himself a deeper crevice in the pits of hell except grace open his eyes and convert him. That self-will has to be broken and utterly crushed if he is to come to the end of self and get truly converted.

As to this "self-election" nonsense, I see no such thing in scripture. Scripture, Jesse, scripture. Not ex-pagan Greek theologians, philosophers and apologists that formed much of their doctrine on free-will based on the controversies they were having with heathen philosophers (and don't get me wrong, most of the church fathers were extraordinary men of God -I study their works myself- but they certainly weren't infallible). If what they say don't line up with scripture, it must be rejected. The same with Finney and Wesley too, even though they were mightily used of God.

This one verse utterly destroys your whole theology:

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1. It speaks of election according to God's sovereign and unchanging foreknowledge, not according to man's self-will. This utterly demolishes your "self-election" doctrines to powder. And this verse can be cross-referenced to MANY such scriptures that say the same, proving I am keeping it's context in truth.

2. It says "Through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience..." Signifying we must be born again and regenerated by the Holy Spirit before we can follow God "unto obedience". The Spirit comes first, then obedience comes as a result. Unregenerate man cannot obey God. All he can do is sin, sin, sin! The best of his good deeds are but filthy rags! He must be born again, saved by grace through faith, and that not of himself, it is the gift of God.

Joh 1:12 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:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

By the way, I've not ever read a single work of either Augustine, Luther, or Calvin. I don't even agree with or endorse these guys according to my knowledge. My doctrine I get from the Word of God.



amen.


 2007/7/8 21:17









 Re: Regeneration: Forced or Voluntary?

9. But those who obey not the gospel are condemned

But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.” Romans 2:8

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah said, Lord, who has believed our report?” Romans 10:16

“O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth” Gal 3:1

“You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?” Gal 5:7

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” 2Thes 1:8

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if the first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1Pet 4:17

Quote:
9. But those who obey not the gospel are condemned



Jesse,

I completely agree with you on this point. In order for any man or woman to avoid the wrath of God, he or she must obey (clearly, an act of the will) the Gospel. For clarification though, my question(s) to you is/ are:

What is the Gospel that is to be obeyed? and,

Why does man even need a Gospel in the first place?


Mahoney

 2007/7/8 22:37





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