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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : A Critique of Edwards on the Will

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 Re:

Jesse,

Perhaps my wording did come across abit strong but I will provide you with abit more of my heart and why I said what I worded in that post.

immature |ˌiməˈ ch oŏr; -ˈt(y)oŏr|
adjective
not fully developed

ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (in the sense [premature,] referring to death): from Latin immaturus ‘untimely, unripe,’ from in- ‘not’ + maturus ‘ripe’ (see mature ).


I find to be "young" in age and experience with God and commit to a whole theology can lead to spiritual "immaturity" which can be a dangerous place. The Lord in His grace is progressing us all in the knowledge of Scriptures and of Christ Himself.

The danger I see you falling into is to shape your thoughts and men's logic around the word of God so that it makes sense. But we cannot do this brother! we must allow the word of God to smite us and break us and teach us. We cannot explain the Scriptures with our reasoning.. God shows forth his word by His Spirit and that leads into "all truth".

My personal conviction is between Arminism and Calvanim proper and I see weaknesses and strengths in both. But to be frank and honest.. in much of the emphasis Calvinism is more biblical! that is what matters what is said in the bible. Not our conjectures, as well, [b]long[/b], wordy with various vernacular, and how lofty it reads! It is still our mind and our thoughts trying to "admirably" grasp God's thoughts. This is not to say that logic does not have a place in understanding the bible, or that we are not to use our minds in understanding the bible. But it is clear that God is the revealer of truth and this "revelation" is shown forth in the spiritual realm primarily. Let us be certain and agreed on this.

I can find fellowship with many christians of different theological thought. But to simply just espouse theology can be a deadening experience.

Quote:
Actually, revivals and much soul winning have accompanied the doctrines of moral government theology, particularly the doctrines of freewill, repentance, and entire sanctification. But this thread is about freewill, which is a doctrine of moral government theology, Arminian theology, and early Christian theology.



Thoughts of entire sanctification and holiness existed long before finneys day. The early church fathers had a mixture of God's soveriegnty and freewill (a healthy mix I might add that is biblical).

Quote:
For example, all the Early Church Fathers before Augustine believed in freewill.


Brother, you cannot juxtapose finney with the early church fathers and but them at enmity with augustine? that is ridiculous. There is as much early church father thought in augustines teachings as there is in finneys, perhaps less.


Quote:
Also the Arminians, the Wesleyans, and the Finneyites all believed in freewill and revival accompanied their doctrines.


Brother, once again you cannot compare finney with wesley, because we are dealing with different men with different views of though on this subject. Wesley was in many ways a healthy biblicist with times of extreme opinion on issues relating to salvation tenets in Calvinism. But overall Wesley had a great high view of God and His sovereignty which he obviously found and shared that thought with the scriptures.

Quote:
Melito said, “There is, therefore, nothing to hinder you from changing your evil manner to life, because you are a free man.” (c.170, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published by Hendrickson Publishers)


Brother, you can take these quotes and make the early church fathers look like prideful men that can do what they want with their lifes. It sounds like a american slogan "pride" we are a free country with liberty and have pride in our liberty. May it not be so. The apostles and other men knew themselves very well, and knew how wicked they were. They knew what God did for them and how God changed them through the power of the cross. So that after this transformation they were able to follow God with all their will gratefully.

You have no sense in the bible of a pride in free will. There is humility, contriteness, dependence on God, lowliness, servanthood.

Oh the great things christians do without God in the 20th century! and look where it has left the church. God has left us to our own devices in the 20th century in North America.. We have the "ark" yet the presence of God has lifted. We are powerless and need God again. A great sermon preached on this recently is here:

[b]A Keen Awareness of The Church's Loss by Roger Ellsworth[/b]
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=15985&commentView=itemComments


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/12/21 21:02Profile









 Re:

The more I study the early Church, and the actual teachings of Pelagius, the more I see that it was Pelagius who agreed with the Early Church, and Augustine who disagreed with it.

Augustine brought into the Church so many Gnostic and Manicheanism doctrines, and Pelagius was severely persecuted for holding to the early Churches doctrine of freewill. Whenever Pelagius was able to defend himself he was declared orthodox. But when he was not allowed to defend himself, and his doctrines were severely misrepresented and slandered, he was called a heretic. Do you know who said that man was justified by "faith alone" long before Luther? Pelagius said justification was by faith alone in his commentaries on the Romans. He did not teach salvation by works or by earning it. Neither did he ever say that we could be holy without God's grace. In fact, Pelagius said the opposite. Pelagius said that we can only be holy through the grace of God.

Anyone who actually studies the writings of the Early Church will see that there is absolutely no Augustinianism or Calvinism in their theology. They did not teach any of the 5 points of Calvinism, which are actually the 5 points of Augustinianism.

We must get our theologies from the bible and not from any men. I do not see any of the five points of Calvinism in the bible at all. Men like Augustine, Luther, and Calvin have truly corrupted the Church. And when great men like Pelagius, Finney, Wesley, and others try to correct their errors, their names are cast out as evil.

The only reason I enjoy reading Pelagius and Finney is because they teach what my bible has been teaching me for years! Particularly that all sin is a choice and is avoidable, man's will is responsible for man's sin, men need to completely repent of all known sin in order to be saved, entire sanctification is possible and required, etc.

Honestly, it deeply grieves me and hurts my spirit that the teachings of Augustine and Calvin are considered by so many today as "orthodox" when they are not found in any of the Early Churches teaching. Men like Washer and Piper are helping to spread these theological errors, and while their hearts might be right with God, their errors are truly damaging Christianity.

Men cannot blame their nature for their sin. God will not hold your nature responsible on the Day of Judgment. God is going to hold you accountable. God won't send Adam to hell for your sin. God will send you to hell for your sin, unless you make the freewill decision to forsake all sin and follow Jesus Christ.

 2007/12/21 21:10
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 Re:

Please address the points in my reply post.


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 2007/12/21 21:12Profile









 Re:

Greg,

Do you believe in freewill?

Are sinners criminals, who have the ability to obey but refuse to do it?

Or are sinners cripples, who were born that way and cannot help it?

Are sinners victims of Adam and victims of nature, or are sinners rebellious criminals who are sinners because they choose to be??

The Early Church taught that sinners are criminals because sinners have a freewill. But the Gnostics said men were cripples who did not have a freewill and said men are sinners because of their involuntary inherited natures. The Gnostics also said that Salvation was entirely the Sovereign work of God, the Gnostics said that God's grace was irresistible, and the Gnostics taught that once you are saved you are always saved.

Calvinism vs Arminianism is really Augustinianism vs Pelagianism. And Augustinianism vs Pelagianism is really Gnosticism vs the Early Church.

The ancestors of the Calvinists are the Augustinians. And the ancestors of the Augustinians are the Gnostics.

The ancestors of the Arminians are the Pelagians. And the ancestors of the Pelagians is the Early Church Fathers who were discipled by the Apostles, who were trained by Jesus.

Quote:
Consider this question:

Do you believe in freewill?

If you answer "yes", then you agree with Pelagius, Finney, and moral government theology.

If you answer "no" then you disagree with all of the Early Church for the first 300 years. But you would be in agreement with the Gnostics.

You would disagree with men like Clement who was even commended in the Bible itself - Php 4:3.

You would disagree with Polycarp who was the disciple of the Apostle John.

You would disagree with Irenaeus who was discipled by Polycarp.

You would disagree with the personal disciples of the Apostles if you denied that man had a freewill.

In fact, if you answer "no" the early Church would consider you a heretic because they said only heretics deny freewill.

Very interesting. These things should be seriously considered.



Quote:
immature |ˌiməˈ ch oŏr; -ˈt(y)oŏr|
adjective
not fully developed

ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (in the sense [premature,] referring to death): from Latin immaturus ‘untimely, unripe,’ from in- ‘not’ + maturus ‘ripe’ (see mature ).

I find to be "young" in age and experience with God and commit to a whole theology can lead to spiritual "immaturity" which can be a dangerous place. The Lord in His grace is progressing us all in the knowledge of Scriptures and of Christ Himself.



If it is immature to be committed to a whole theology, is it not immature to be against a whole theology? Because you have taken a stand against the whole system of moral government theology. So are you then immature?

And are Calvinists like Piper and Washer immature because they hold to the 5 points of Calvinism?

Could it be that the immature do not have doctrine, but the mature in Christ will be very familiar with sound doctrine? In which case, those who don't have a systematic theology would be the ones immature.

Quote:
The danger I see you falling into is to shape your thoughts and men's logic around the word of God so that it makes sense. But we cannot do this brother! we must allow the word of God to smite us and break us and teach us. We cannot explain the Scriptures with our reasoning.. God shows forth his word by His Spirit and that leads into "all truth".



This is a straw man. I am not trying to fit the bible around my thoughts, I am trying to fit my thoughts around the bible. I let the bible determine my theology. And that is why I've been preaching the same doctrines for years, long before I ever started to read Finney or even heard of Pelagius.

In fact, I remember debating with you in your car brother Greg on whether or not we had a freewill and if we could keep God's commandments. That was about 3 years ago, before I ever read Finney at all. And I remember reading about Pelagius shortly after that, in your car, and I said "Wow. This guy is said what I was just saying" and you said "Pelagius was a heretic". I didn't even know who he was, but I knew that he taught what I had been teaching for years.

Quote:
My personal conviction is between Arminism and Calvanim proper and I see weaknesses and strengths in both.



Which part of the TULIP do you agree with? All of TULIP stands or falls together. One doctrine necessitates the other doctrines. Total Inability necessitates unconditional election, which necessitates limited atonement or universalism, to irresistible grace, to perseverance of the saints. If total inability is affirmed, these doctrines necessarily follow.

But I don't believe the bible teaches any of the 5 points:

TOTAL DEPRAVITY: By this Augustine and Calvin meant total inability. I agree with Finney that men are totally morally depraved. Sinners are not righteous at all, by it is by choice and not by birth or by nature. Men are totally sinful, but not totally unable. The only reason they are sinful is because they are able but not willing.

UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION: Nothing could be further from the gospel then this. Salvation is conditional upon repentance and faith. Until a person forsakes all their sin and trusts solely in Christ, they are not truly or soundly saved. Salvation is grounded in the grace of God, but it is conditional upon blood shed, repentance and faith.

LIMITED ATONEMENT: Again, nothing could be further from the gospel. The glorious truth of the bible is that God so loved the whole world, and that Jesus tasted death for every man. That doesn't mean anyone is automatically saved. The atonement makes conditional salvation possible for everyone.

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE: God's grace is the most resisted thing in the entire universe. God is offering grace to everyone through Jesus Christ, and the majority of the world chooses darkness when God genuinely offers the light. The majority of the world chooses the broad road when it is possible for them to walk on the narrow road.

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS: Jesus said only those who persevere unto the end will be saved, because many who are saved will not persevere unto the end during persecution. The Early Church universally believed that final salvation was conditional upon perseverance, but that nobody will automatically persevere. Salvation could be lost.

Quote:
But to be frank and honest.. in much of the emphasis Calvinism is more biblical! that is what matters what is said in the bible.



I disagree. Again, I don't believe the bible teaches any of the doctrines of Calvinism. I know many today listen to Piper and Washer and think that Calvinism is biblical, but Calvinism is in fact the exact opposite of the truth.

The reason I cannot accept Calvinism is because it is so unbiblical. They have their scriptures that they twist and pervert, but that doesn't make it biblical!

Quote:
I can find fellowship with many christians of different theological thought. But to simply just espouse theology can be a deadening experience.



It can be. It is no wonder that many hate thinking about or talking about theology, because so many theologies are absolutely dead!

Any theology that does not make us fall more in love with God cannot be biblical. And that is why I love moral government and open theism, because it is entirely biblical and because it makes me love God even more.

Quote:

JESSE SAID: Actually, revivals and much soul winning have accompanied the doctrines of moral government theology, particularly the doctrines of freewill, repentance, and entire sanctification. But this thread is about freewill, which is a doctrine of moral government theology, Arminian theology, and early Christian theology.

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

GREG SAID: Thoughts of entire sanctification and holiness existed long before finneys day.



That is exactly the point. Christian history is full of moral government theology. Long before Finney came around Christians believed in freewill, repentance, and holiness.

Quote:
The early church fathers had a mixture of God's soveriegnty and freewill (a healthy mix I might add that is biblical).



Finney had a great mixture of Sovereignty and freewill too. Just like the Early Church, Finney believed that God was Sovereign, but just like the Early Church, he also believed that salvation required a freewill choice to repent and believe. God does not cause sin neither does God force anyone to repent.

Quote:


JESSE SAID: For example, all the Early Church Fathers before Augustine believed in freewill.

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

GREG SAID: Brother, you cannot juxtapose finney with the early church fathers and but them at enmity with augustine? that is ridiculous. There is as much early church father thought in augustines teachings as there is in finneys, perhaps less.



You can't be serious. Augustines entire system of doctrine was novel and foreign to the Early Church. Augustine denied freewill and affirmed original sin. The Early Church affirmed freewill and denied original sin.

If you actually study extensively the teachings of the Early Church, the teachings of Augustine, and the teachings of Finney, you will clearly see that the early Church and Finney agreed on most things, while Augustine and the early Church disagreed on almost everything.


Quote:


JESSE SAID: Also the Arminians, the Wesleyans, and the Finneyites all believed in freewill and revival accompanied their doctrines.

GREG SAID: Brother, once again you cannot compare finney with wesley, because we are dealing with different men with different views of thought on this subject. Wesley was in many ways a healthy biblicist with times of extreme opinion on issues relating to salvation tenets in Calvinism. But overall Wesley had a great high view of God and His sovereignty which he obviously found and shared that thought with the scriptures.



Yes and Finney too had a very high view of God and His Sovereignty which he obviously found and shared the thought with the scripture.

But just like Finney is accused of being a Pelagian, Wesley and Fletcher were also accused of being Pelagians, because they taught freewill and perfection just like Pelagius did.

Quote:


Melito said, “There is, therefore, nothing to hinder you from changing your evil manner to life, because you are a free man.” (c.170, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

Brother, you can take these quotes and make the early church fathers look like prideful men that can do what they want with their lifes. It sounds like a american slogan "pride" we are a free country with liberty and have pride in our liberty. May it not be so. The apostles and other men knew themselves very well, and knew how wicked they were. They knew what God did for them and how God changed them through the power of the cross. So that after this transformation they were able to follow God with all their will gratefully.



The Early Church Fathers knew that they were sinful because they had a freewill, because God gave them a freewill and they used it for sin! So because of their doctrine of freewill, they viewed themselves as criminals not as cripples. But those who deny freewill cannot truly believe that they are sinful, they view themselves as cripples who cannot help it. But those who believe in freewill believe that they could have done better but sinfully choose not to.

And the Early Church repeatedly said that all men have the ability to obey God. Ability to obey does not come after being born again. But a person is born again when they decide to forsake all and follow Christ. To the Early Church, the difference between the regenerate and the unregenerate was not that one had freewill and the other didn't, but that one man used his freewill for God and the other used their freewill for sin.

Quote:
You have no sense in the bible of a pride in free will. There is humility, contriteness, dependence on God, lowliness, servanthood.



That humility is exactly what the doctrine of freewill should give us. Because when we recognize that we have always had a freewill, but sinfully choose to rebel against God, that should humble us and make us utterly and totally dependent upon God for leading and guiding. That humility and dependence is exactly what the doctrine of freewill should give us.

Quote:
Oh the great things Christians do without God in the 20th century!



I agree. We absolutely need God. Like Pelagius taught, we don't have any strength of our own. The only strength we have is the strength that God gives us. And now that God has given all men the power of choice when God gave all men a freewill, now we are especially dependent upon God to teach us how to use our freewill rightly. We need the Holy Spirit to convict us, lead us, guide us, teach us, comfort us, etc.

 2007/12/21 21:57
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Quote:
Are sinners criminals, who have the ability to obey but refuse to do it?

Or are sinners cripples, who were born that way and cannot help it?

Are sinners victims of Adam and victims of nature, or are sinners rebellious criminals who are sinners because they choose to be??


Both brother, because scripture qualifies this and also early church history. We are victims of adams fall, and if there was any free will left in us that was not tainted by that fall, we choose evil anyways with it. And for some who did not they were self-righteous about their "good" choices and more evil then the rest.

Quote:
If it is immature to be committed to a whole theology, is it not immature to be against a whole theology? Because you have taken a stand against the whole system of moral government theology. So are you then immature?


Brother, I am still growing in God and learning wisdom. I am learning from Christ who is my teacher, and seeking God according to the pattern of those before me. I am seeking to be apostolic and not believing on the outset that certain theologies prevalent must be a expression of it.

It can be immature to act as a teacher when others should be teaching you. The Spirit of Christ in a man is according to his humility, teachable and also gentleness when teaching others. I personally am not a self-proclaimed teacher and hope as I progress in Christ that I can learn and speak forth what I live.

Quote:
And are Calvinists like Piper and Washer immature because they hold to the 5 points of Calvinism?

Could it be that the immature do not have doctrine, but the mature in Christ will be very familiar with sound doctrine? In which case, those who don't have a systematic theology would be the ones immature.


Brother, I was stating that you are immature (un-ripe) in that you believe you have the truth and a full theology but you don't and to stay in that state is be of no use. Does God's vineyard full of ripe fruit meet for the masters use. We are in the school of God and God! Himself brings us to a place of useability and usefulness for Him in His Kingdom.

May we not be found doing His work with our strength claiming to be apostolic when we are non of the sort. I find beyond the theology a emphasis on "life" and experience with God in the life's of piper and washer. You cannot but get that from their sermons and writings. But brother all I am hearing from your threads and posts is dry theological assumptions and ideas from your mind "about" God. This is not the number one importance, this is not what matters, this is not it. What is important is experience and life with and from God.

A theology won't turn a world upside down but a man filled with God will.

Quote:
In fact, I remember debating with you in your car brother Greg on whether or not we had a freewill and if we could keep God's commandments. That was about 3 years ago, before I ever read Finney at all. And I remember reading about Pelagius shortly after that, in your car, and I said "Wow. This guy is said what I was just saying" and you said "Pelagius was a heretic". I didn't even know who he was, but I knew that he taught what I had been teaching for years.


I know you realize this is a public forum but I assume you are comfortable with these things being addressed and spoken about before many. I do trust it will challenge and speak to many hearts of what truth there is in our words.

It is not reasonable to assume that pelagius was of the apostolic sort. A careful and quick reading of history will show that he was not at all of that "sound doctrine" that leads to godliness.

Brother I want you to simply understand and think of what is of chief importance. Is it our ability to do things God says, or firstly is it to recognize God as the giver of commandments and of His power that enables us to even keep them. The second here does not nullify the first. A basic reading of any of the epistles shows a God exalted, Authoritative, In-control, sovereign, a enabler, a giver, .. and what is our response but "thanks be to God" all that we have do and are.. are from His hand. This is biblical Christianity, Apostolic Christianity and Early Church Father Christianity and is the Christianity I have been overtaken by.

Quote:
Which part of the TULIP do you agree with?


Personally this is beside the point right now. The question needs to be How "big" is your God?


Quote:
the doctrines of Calvinism.


Perhaps we need to define this word "calvanism" you are thinking the 5 points of tulip when I use this word. I am thinking in most cases of a "Higher" view of God, which the scriptures are very clear on. Is Christ Lord? or is Jesse Morell, the person who repented by his own strength to receive God's free gift, which you received and opened, and now you can by yourself fulfill your ministry which you have called yourself to, to make people believe and repent and be saved by their own strength. I am not trying to be funny or condemning with these words but illustrative to the point of showing how low a "gospel" this is.. and how unbiblical any part of those thoughts are. The Scriptures clearly state that God creates, God loves, God saves, God gifts, God calls, God grants, God enables, God ... EVERYTHING! :-)

Praise be to God the Lord of All, to whom, and from whom are all things! and all things were made by Him and for Him. (paraphrase)

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And that is why I love moral government and open theism, because it is entirely biblical and because it makes me love God even more.


To love God more, what does that entail?

Quote:
That is exactly the point. Christian history is full of moral government theology. Long before Finney came around Christians believed in freewill, repentance, and holiness.


Brother, you cannot say that repentance, freewill and holiness ARE moral government theology. All of these things are in the bible and thought by the early christians but not in the way you make them out to be.

Repentance - is given by God, it is a gift. There is a part of man to recieve and excercise this gift. But no one can just choose to be sorrowful over the fact that their sins are against a infitily holy God and that their sins stab God and killed God. And the wrath of God hangs over their head. This is God given to realize the "divine insult" and the "divine remedy". How needful are both revelations.

Freewill - We are bound to choose or even be accepted by God. We cannot do right, but we can do something. As God allows and grants we are able to seek Him. One thing every man HAS FREE WILL to do is to HUMBLE OURSELVES. Humble, contriteness, lowliness, this is our position before God. Only God can enable our wills after conversion to walk in righteousness and heavenly wisdom which is "given" (freely) from above.

Holiness - Is Christ-likness or its heresy. It is not abstaining from ALL sin but rather being "set apart" to the Spirit of Christ and allowing Himself to conform our lowly spirits to His. Meekness, Gentleness, Self-control,... this is HOLINESS not just t be able to say to people I don't fornicate or commit adultery.

Quote:
You can't be serious. Augustines entire system of doctrine was novel and foreign to the Early Church. Augustine denied freewill and affirmed original sin. The Early Church affirmed freewill and denied original sin.


If you had a moral government teacher try and teach a open theism gospel to people in the early church days you would be looked upon as very strange. The bible does not use this type of language or "argumentation" the apostles did not. We once again are trying to use our minds and ideas to sculpt God. The Israelites of Old were very humble, not ignorant but WISE, in their dealing with God. They gave Him the rule, the kingship, of their nation, lifes, and did not try to explain God, they worshiped Him! May we do the same.

Quote:
Yes and Finney too had a very high view of God and His Sovereignty which he obviously found and shared the thought with the scripture.


I know that finney had a high view of God, but obviously in His later years not high enough, he lost many things and was repulsed by a presbyterian church around him that was chiefly cold, formalistic and apostate. Does this mean that his open theism and moral government beliefs that mostly were formed near the ending of his life constitute apostolic lineage and truth? Finney is admirable in many ways, and I love to quote him and read him, but I do not fully commit to all his views and the sections of his writings I get edified and blessed from are those that are not argumentative on doctrine but speak of experience and life in God.


Quote:
The Early Church Fathers knew that they were sinful because they had a freewill, because God gave them a freewill and they used it for sin!


If you willfully sin that is a very bad thing brother, scripture is clear on that. The early church fathers had a high view of God and a low view of man seeing how persuasive sin is! May we see how beguiling and evil sin is..

Quote:
That humility is exactly what the doctrine of freewill should give us. Because when we recognize that we have always had a freewill, but sinfully choose to rebel against God, that should humble us and make us utterly and totally dependent upon God for leading and guiding. That humility and dependence is exactly what the doctrine of freewill should give us.



:-(


Quote:
The only strength we have is the strength that God gives us. And now that God has given all men the power of choice when God gave all men a freewill, now we are especially dependent upon God to teach us how to use our freewill rightly.


This makes me want to weep. How very sad that we have such a low view of God and what He has and does in men through Christ.


---

If God left us!

(Thomas Watson, "Four Sad Evils" 1663)

The sins of the ungodly are looking-glasses in which we
may see our own hearts. Do we see a heinous, impious
wretch? Behold a picture of our own hearts! Such would
we be--if God left us! What is in wicked men's practice
--is in our nature. Sin in the wicked--is like fire which
flames and blazes forth. Sin in the godly--is like fire hid
in the embers. Christian, though you do not break forth
into a flame of scandalous sin--yet you have no cause
to boast, for there is as much sin in the embers of your
nature! You have the root of all sin in you, and would
bear as hellish fruit as any ungodly wretch--if God did
not either curb you by His power, or change you by
His grace!

Why might not God have left you--to the same excess
of wickedness? Think with yourself, O Christian--why
should God be more merciful to you, than to another?
Why should He snatch you, as brand plucked out of
the fire--and not him? How should this make you to
adore free grace! What the Pharisee said boastingly,
we may say thankfully--"God, I thank you that I am
not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers, etc."

If we are not as wicked as others--we should adore the
riches of free-grace! Every time we see men hastening
on in sin--we are to thank God that we are not such!
If we see a crazy person--we thank God that it is not
so with us. When we see another infected with the
plague--how thankful are we, that God has preserved
us from it! Much more when we see others under the
power of Satan--how thankful we should be, that this
is no longer our condition!

"For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived,
captives of various passions and pleasures, living in
malice and envy, hateful . . . ." Titus 3:3


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/12/21 22:52Profile
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Posts: 3693
Ca.

 Re:

There is only one true government of God. That is Jesus Christ.

Why do we always argue Calvin, and Arminius, circumcision, uncircumcision, Piper and Washer?

There is no Government in any of them.

The only true government is a Person and that Person is Jesus Christ, and His Government is upon His shoulders, and this Person is in the believer. That is our only hope of Glory, that is the Christ that is in us. A Person making us new persons in Christ Jesus. Let us seek Him and His Father and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us this Person, and all things will be added unto us.

We have Christ in us, we died to sin with Him on the Cross, let us take up His Cross which is now ours by the birth of His Son in each of us. Being Born again of Incorruptable Seed of God, the Word Himself.

Colossians 1:25-28 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Only One Way to be Perfect: "IN CHRIST"

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Dead to sin a new birthed creature: "IN CHRIST"

1 Peter 1:19-25 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 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: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The Word: CHRIST JESUS.

John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

IN CHRIST: Phillip


_________________
Phillip

 2007/12/22 0:34Profile
whyme
Member



Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:

Lazarus 1979,

I notice that you use the words "free will" repeatedly and appear to hold it in the highest regard. My reading of the Bible finds the term used once by Paul in Philemon in a very innocuous way. It would seem that on the basis of omission alone, it is a very limited concept in the minds of the Apostles and most importantly by God Himself.

Perhaps Brother Greg's gentle instruction to you concerning doctrinal blinders is merited. God doesn't seem nearly as concerned with the words and implicitly, the concept, as you are. Further, you spend a great deal of time exalting man's abilities while the God in the Bible spends His laying man low. God devotes His revelation to His own Holiness, you devote a great deal to your own. I'm not trying to argue theology, just priority.

 2007/12/22 7:19Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Brother Jesse, I know you love Charles Wesley, and hold his hymns and theology, like I do, in very high regard. I want to show you something from a hymn I know you cherish. Notice this stanza:

"Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee."


Notice that like Peter, Wesley regards himself to have been "fast bound" in chains, and [i]bound[/i] in "nature's night." Freewill here would express a natural desire to be loosed from the chain, though such a desire would be futile to effectuate this in reality, as much as a prisoner approaching the gallows could freewill make a choice for his own release and expect it to happen on that basis. The reality is that he is imprisoned - most likely [i]against[/i] his will - and being led to execution. Intercession was put forth for Peter. A miracle had to occur in that dank prison, God had to come down into the dungeon, and flame it with light, and quake the walls and loose the chains, and open the prison door.

You might say at this point, "Yes, of course. Only God can open the prison and set man free. But God does all this [i]after[/i] a man repents and [i]after[/i] he employs his faculties of [i]freewill to forsake all known sin."[/i]

The Bible plainly states that even the act of repentance must be [i]"given by God to the acknowledging of the truth"[/i] (2 Tim. 2:25). Man, by the powers of freewill, can reform a superficial aspect of his life in increments, and supress certain deeds and thoughts and words to a degree, but this does not extirpate Sin's Root; it only conceals the branching fruit.

Charles Wesley also acknowledged this unseen, alien dynamic, known as the "Root of Sin" which is beyond the capability of man to eradicate through his own willpower. The difference between sin and the "Root of Sin" is the difference between the individual taskmaster Moses killed in secret and the entire Egyptian army of Pharoah which God destroyed in one moment. The Egyptian taskmaster was only a single branch of Pharoah's vast government and might. One tiny grape compared to a 100,000-acre vineyard of clusters and clusters of grapes, all stemming from a massive vine with roots that go down deep beneath the surface of the earth. Observe:

"I come to testify the grace
My Lord obtained for all our race,
Enough ten thousand worlds to save;
Salvation is in Jesu’s Name,
Which every soul of man may claim,
And all that seek the grace, shall have.
[i]Salvation from the power of sin,
Salvation from the root within,[/i]
Salvation into perfect love,
(Thy grace to all hath brought it near,)
An uttermost salvation here,
Salvation up to heaven above."

Notice Wesley says that all who [b]"seek the grace"[/b] shall have salvation from the power of sin - [i]salvation from the root within[/i]. I agree with Wesley. Such healing comes by grace, and the blessed doctrine that true, godly repentance is of itself intitiated by the grace of God, I also agree with the Apostle Paul. Brother, we must instruct sinners to look to Jesus Christ crucified and only to the crucified Christ. Anything else is tantamount to placing a bandage over a lesion and believing this cures one of AIDS.

Unregenerate men have the snakebitten venom of "Sin" running through their spiritual veins and need the only effectual antedote in the universe to get rid of it, which is [i]one true gaze at the Serpent on the tree[/i]. Salvation is, as Wesley says, "from the root within." I contend that no man is able to reason or freewill this viral poison out of his system; he is able, and only insomuch as his impressionable conscience allows, to ameliorate the symptoms. Brother, this is why you must be quickened, healed, born-again of the Holy Spirit to enter heaven. No "Sin-Root" positive victims will be allowed in.

Imagine an unregenerate Charles Wesley visits one of those college university campuses you preach at. And he comes under conviction, and cries out:

"O that my load of sin were gone!
O that I could at last submit
At Jesus’ feet to lay it down,
To lay my soul at Jesus’ feet!"

And what will OpenAirOutreach tell him to do? Will your group point him to the only anti-viral drug available: Jesus the Bronze Serpent hanging on the tree, or will you instead point him to his own mortal faculties of flawed reason, logic, and manipulative willpower: "Just use your freewill to make a decision! Just stop sinning! Make a freewill choice to trust Jesus today!"

Oh, this is fatal.

Wesley replies in tears:

"I would, but Thou (God) must give the power;
My heart from every sin release;
Bring near, bring near the joyful hour,
And fill me with Thy perfect peace."

These stanzas are taken from his hymn, "O That My load of Sin Were Gone."

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/22 8:21Profile
davyman
Member



Joined: 2007/12/21
Posts: 83


 Re:

Lazarus:

I am not bound by the doctrines of Calvin or Piper or Warfield or Kuyper, etc. But I am bound by the doctrines of the Bible. I learn from the Bible that "Even when [I was] dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. . ." (Eph. 2:5; see 2:1, Col. 2:13, 1Pet. 2:24). I walked away from Christ at every turn. "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life," (John 5:40) said Jesus to my heart. I was a spiritual corpse.

So what happened? My heart was stone. Stone is lifeless, unable to move even a millimeter without an external force working on it. God, rich in His mercy "[took] the stony heart out of their flesh, and [gave] them a heart of flesh" (Ezek. 11:19). God removed the rock in my chest and replaced it with a living heart of flesh.

You may say "it certainly true that God did this in response to repentance." This may be true, but the apostles recognized that repentance itself is given by God: "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). I absolutely repented, I absolutely trusted in Christ, but why?

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). Salvation is the total gift of God, not only in the saving, but in the believing. Paul tells us that saving faith itself is "not of yourselves." In verse two he acknowledges that we are "the children of disobedience." We were obedient to our father, the devil (John 8:44). Hallelujah, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Eph. 2:4,5).

We are all in the same boat, all of humanity. In the ninth chapter of Romans we see the absolute sovereignty of God in redemption. "Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory?" (21-23). We are all from the same lump of clay, it is God's good pleasure to form us into vessels of mercy. A vessel of dishonor is incapable of choosing to be a vessel of honor.

From AW Tozer's "The Sovereignty of God:"
We readily acknowledge that it is very humbling to the proud heart of the creature to behold all mankind in the hand of God as the clay in the potter's hand, yet this is precisely how the Scriptures of Truth represent the case. In this day of human boasting, intellectual pride, and deification of man, it needs to be insisted upon that the potter forms his vessels for himself. Let man strive with his Maker as he will, the fact remains that he is nothing more than clay in the Heavenly Potter's hands, and while we know that God will deal justly with His creatures, that the Judge of all the earth will do right, nevertheless, He shapes His vessels for His own purpose and according to His own pleasure. God claims the indisputable right to do as He wills with His own.

 2007/12/22 9:48Profile
EvanSchaible
Member



Joined: 2006/3/5
Posts: 29
"No Certain dwellingplace"

 Re:

Saints,

Coming from a man that was once enslaved to the theology of the Moral Government, and nigh fatally wounded spiritually by the doctrines perpetrated thereby, I can confidently attest that the theology is quite dangerous, but even moreso was the fruit it produced in my life. I became carnally minded, speaking very rarely of the grace and mercy of God, and much about sin and being sinless. I spoke very rarely, if ever, of the all sufficiency of Christ in the glorious work of redemption, and very much of the all sufficiency of man to set himself free of the bondages that he naturally and voluntarily finds himself in.

Everything turned into dry logical reasoning and if it was otherwise I wanted nothing to do with it. Consequently I was devoid of any spiritual conception of reality, God, and the Christian experience and life. This was perhaps the most villainous of it all as this left me dangling over the brimstone of the torments of hell because to be carnally minded is death. Not a single soul on earth could have convinced me otherwise because I, to be consistent with my theology (which was then staunchly Moral Government)could not ever admit pride, because I would then be unsaved according to my own system. This bred deep rooted self deception and pride as I just progressed further and further along in the filthy downward spiral I found myself in.

If it wasn't for the sovereignty of God in providence providing me with my beautiful wife and teaching me what love is then I would likely not be saved today. I had no idea what true love was, I had this conception of God standing over me, a believer, with an iron club just waiting for my foot to slide so He could beat me into submission or just toss me away to those torments that I hung over, desperately clinging to my self righteousness and pride, and yet the flames began to lick even those weak and beggarly cords.

Liz has literally been a saviour to me, and God has used her to teach me many things about Christianity, theology, life and love. We can all to easily forget what it is to be human, and yet also what it is to be a human that contains God. But God has uncanny ways of showing us these very things, and laying bear our hearts before us.

When I met Liz my entire life changed. God used her in a plethora of ways to rebuke my pride and self righteousness. In this way He brought me out of that theology. What mercy does God have as I would be brainwashing my precious wife (soon to be wife I should say) with the vile doctrines that drug me to the pits of condemnation and spiritual duplicity and hopelessness.

Let this be a lesson to us all, deception can and does, and always will lead to the path tread most often by devils and pharisees, I once tread that way, and all that follow the same errors will tread that way also. Oh pray for the blinded eyes to be opened, the hardened hearts to be softened and replaced with a fleshly heart of love. Pray that our dear brother receives a love of the truth, otherwise he will be swept away by the winds of last days deception into the rocky shores of apocalyptic apostasy.

Pray brethren...pray. What more can be said. God will lead all who are truthful and humble into the glorious light of the truth of His word, but He resists the proud, and pride resists correction and hardens it's neck. So dear brothers, seek the Lord that He may break up the fallow ground and drive in the precious seed of His truth, so that the Lamb that was slain will receive the full reward of His suffering.

- Evan Schaible
http://GetWisdom.net


_________________
Evan Schaible

 2007/12/22 15:03Profile





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