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theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re:

A fellow named Scott emailed me with this comment:

----
Have you given any thought to my post that the “them” in “bought them” refers back to the people in the first part of the verse. The “themselves” would still be capable of being directed at the false teachers. If you did the substitution, then 2Peter2:1 would read like this,

“ But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought God’s people (ie., believers )---bringing swift destruction (not on the people) but on themselves, the false prophets.”
The solid internal consistency resulting from this application seems a strong indication that the “them” is the “people”.

----
I replied,

Scott, thanks for reading my post and taking time to write. Actually, I only briefly considered the passage in the way you suggest. While I think the option has certain merits (it's certainly easier to explain), I do find an issue. Being no Greek expert, I can only look at the English phrase, "denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction" and see what appears to be a connection between "them" and "themselves", as the same persons. Because destruction is coming upon the persons called "themselves", it makes sense that "them" refers to the heretics.

The preceding phrase, "there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you" could be suggestive of "them" being used to describe God's people, as you wrote. But, in the first place, the switch from "you" to "them" seems unnatural if it relates the same people, because it would then sound as if God's purchase of national Israel, which are the people among whom these false prophets were mentioned, is separate from the buying of the present "you" to whom Peter writes. That interpretation only works if the buying is strictly in reference to the deliverance from Egypt, which, I believe, was John Gill's view. However, even this view seems to disconnect "them", which in this case would mean "the former false prophets" from "themselves", which would be the present false teachers of which Peter warns. By this understanding, the phrase would become, "there were false prophets also among the [national] people [of Israel], even as there shall be false teachers among you [the Christian Church], who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought [the false prophets who were among the national people of Israel], and bring upon themselves [i.e., the present false teachers] swift destruction. This only confounds the verse to my mind, saying that present teachers are somehow denying the Lord who bought the former false prophets. While that is true in the sense we have described earlier, it is less obvious to me than the way I have presented.

Does that make sense?

Thank you again, and may God bless us with understanding.
In Jesus name,
Mike:.

 2008/12/12 15:20Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

This is Young's Literal translation...

[color=0033FF]And there did come also false prophets among the people, as also among you there shall be false teachers, who shall bring in besides destructive sects, and the Master who bought them denying, bringing to themselves quick destruction,[/color]

The phrase 'there did come' is conveying the sense of the Greek word 'ginomai' which means 'come into being'. This is pointing to a point at which 'among the people' 'false prophets came into being'. It is strange to our ears but it is a normal construction.

The phrase 'and the Master' is the Greek conjunction 'and' which is often translated as 'also' as in the KJV.

The normal grammar would mean that a pronoun represents the nearest noun to it. This is not absolute but is the norm. In that case the 'them' would refer to the those who had brought in the destructive heresies. The clinching argument is really that word 'kai' translated 'also'. In other words this gives us two pieces of information about these 'false teachers among you'; first, that they will bring in 'destructive heresies' and second, consequently, that they will be those who are (currently) 'denying the Lord who had bought them'. This is literally 'denying the having bought them Lord'.

It can't sustain Scott's suggestion. The tenses are interesting...

The false prophets were among them, uses the past tense as would be expected for this reference to ancient Israel. The tenses used for the false teachers are present participles ie they are denying the Lord that bought them AND bringing upon themselves swift destruction. These present participles plainly belong to the 'false teachers'.

Hope you can understand all that. I may have been too pedantic/


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2008/12/12 15:56Profile
boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re: a question for a Calvinist

I submit the following for peer-review. This is not an indication of established truth but of researching the matter. Please, keep in mind, these discussions are not for the sake of curiosities, as they amuse us, but for bringing about a clearer understanding of the ministry of the Gospel, in how we ought to effectively plead with the consciences of sinner's.
[b]ie.[/b] if we believe we can convince people into heaven then we speak accordingly; however, if we believe that all we may do as ministers of the Gospel is convince people, by the awakening of the sinner's conscience, that they are enemies of God separated from the Life of the Holy Spirit, already condemned to the second death with the wrath of God abiding upon them, without hope in the world, lovers of self and haters of God, and have no power within themselves to be reformed or to provoke God unto mercy, then we speak accordingly.
And this discussion gives us some clarification, in part, as to how far (not length of time) we may expect a sinner to continue in godly grief which produces a repentance that leads to salvation until they are shut up to the barrier of God's monergism; at which point there remains only the total reliance of faith upon the mercy of God in Christ. (It should also be noted that "godly sorrow" is a gift that comes from God, as well as the gift of faith. Yet, I stand to reason these monergstic gifts must be synergistically preserved and cultivated covenantally.)

Quote:
To deal with the dog and its own vomit, it's pretty straightforward. After his vomiting the dog is still a dog. Were the dog to be changed into a human . . .


What may a sinner be compared to if not a "dog"?
What may a redeemed sinner (saint) be compared to if not a dog, after it has vomitted, saved by grace? Do we think so highly of ourselves; or do we not regard the merciful One who sustains us worms?

Quote:
Likewise for the regenerate with the life of Christ imparted to them. When they have everlasting life, they no longer desire their own vomit. As dogs, only those who have stopped short of the saving change will have a desire to return to the vomit they have previously spewed out.


We know this is not true by scripture and conscience. And you also correct yourself on this very statement.

Quote:
Not one of us has achieved sinless perfection, and God as our Father allows/sends these to bring us back into right relationship with Him, when we by our sin, have caused His withdrawal.


Personally I consider my self no better than before I was raised up into newness of life by grace through faith in Christ Jesus by the same resurrection power. Shall I therefore boast in myself and consider myself more than I was before? If I boast in myself and say I have become better than I was then I deny the testimony of scripture and of my conscience ("I am prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love"); as well as also, I take upon my self the praise for whom only Christ in me is worthy to receive, therefore I boast in Him alone. I must decrease in all respects; if I was a dog before salvation then I am a worm in Christ and less than a worm; for I am nothing compared to Him and nothing without Him.

Would this not be the same as the redeemed sinner (dog), if even temporarily, returning to his former sins (vomit)? The difference is not that we do not still desire our former sins (such is the torment of this cursed flesh, [b]2 Peter 2:7[/b]). For no good thing dwells in my flesh, and yet here it remains until the time of our Lord's appearing and I do groan and suffer in my soul waiting expectantly for the salvation of my body. The difference is that by the grace of God we may put to death the deeds of the flesh daily, and overcome the desires of temptation by diligently pursuing the desires of the Holy Spirit in righteousness -- hungering and thirsting for His righteousness in Christ Jesus, wherefore He has promised that we shall be filled and satisfied in Him.

Quote:
I know quite a few people that having heard of Christ and the Judgment to come have become very strict religious moralists, yet remain outside of Christ.


And so they have never been washed clean. They exchanged the offenses of one manner of wickedness for the defilement of another. Yet it all proceeds out of the same abundance from the sinner's heart and not from the abundance of riches in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The bitter root of all sin is that man is become god unto himself, lord of his own heart. Whatsoever a man thinks or commits apart from loving obedience to the Spirit of Christ, who is the Spirit of Life, is sin and leads to death.

Quote:
All His children have experienced this upon being convicted of sin (whether unforgiveness or something else); the tormenters come, and come quickly robbing us of peace until we pay that which is due, a humbling of ourselves before God in repentance.


This sounds just like the parable Jesus gave,
[b]Matthew 18
21.[/b] Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
[b]22.[/b] Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
[b]23.[/b] "[b]For this reason[/b] (because of what He just said) the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
[b]24.[/b] "When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.
[b]25.[/b] "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
[b]26.[/b] "So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, `Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.'
[b]27.[/b] "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.

So where is the differance Joe?

I have decided to make an admission, after considering this over; I have decided that it is not altogether accurate to say that the vomitting dog and the washed sow is a parable for "regeneration" -- though it is certainly a necessary condition leading to regeneration (edit: or perhaps, it is to be understood as a part of regeneration. That is, to take regeneration in parts: 1) to remove the old and 2) to establish the new.)

[b]Matthew 12
43.[/b] When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
[b]44.[/b] Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
[b]45.[/b] Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Which would parallel the statement of Peter, "For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them."

So, I guess, this would lead us to the question: after a person is washed clean by the forgiveness of sins, what would hinder them from being filled with the Holy Spirit? Have they not been set free from their former enslavement? Is it possible they would have a [b]freed[/b]-will to choose good at this point? As Jesus said,
[b]John 8
11.[/b] She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
[b]John 5
14.[/b] Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Now of course, a freed-will to sin no more will not bring salvation, much less regeneration, because "sinning no more" does not bring holiness. As there is a concrete demarcation between seeking His face [b]and[/b] turning from our wicked ways. I am convinced that regeneration is a divine act of God; I agree with monergistic regeneration. Yet, I also believe the entire human life is synergistic with the Holy Spirit interposed with God's divine monergism. This is a connotation of relationship, which may be a good (faith) relationship or bad (unbelief, resisting the Holy Ghost) relationship; such does not give preference of the Love of God one over another but rather only signifies the preferential love which a man may have towards God.

[b]Luke 7
40.[/b] And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
[b]41.[/b] There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
[b]42.[/b] And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
[b]43.[/b] Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
. . .
[b]47.[/b] Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
[b]48.[/b] And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
[b]49.[/b] And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
[b]50.[/b] And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

So then, let us consider, what is lacking between someone who has been forgiven their sins, being swept clean and put in order, and someone who has "by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit" been saved "so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according [b]to the hope[/b] of eternal life"?

[b]Romans 8
23.[/b] And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
[b]24.[/b] For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
[b]25.[/b] But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Is it then not reasonable that there are many who shall not make certain of their election "having forgotten his purification from his former sins"? And those who's love ([i]agape[/i], a love only received through the forgiveness of sins; [i]agape[/i] is that love which is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost) shall wane cold through offense ([b]Matthew 24:12[/b])?
[b]Matthew 24
13.[/b] But he that shall endure (perservere) unto the end, the same shall be saved.


_________________
Jordan

 2008/12/12 15:58Profile









 Re:

Quote:

boG wrote:
I submit the following for peer-review. This is not an indication of established truth but of researching the matter. Please, keep in mind, these discussions are not for the sake of curiosities, as they amuse us, but for bringing about a clearer understanding of the ministry of the Gospel, in how we ought to effectively plead with the consciences of sinner's.
[b]ie.[/b] if we believe we can convince people into heaven then we speak accordingly; however, if we believe that all we may do as ministers of the Gospel is convince people, by the awakening of the sinner's conscience, that they are enemies of God separated from the Life of the Holy Spirit, already condemned to the second death with the wrath of God abiding upon them, without hope in the world, lovers of self and haters of God, and have no power within themselves to be reformed or to provoke God unto mercy, then we speak accordingly.
And this discussion gives us some clarification, in part, as to how far (not length of time) we may expect a sinner to continue in godly grief which produces a repentance that leads to salvation until they are shut up to the barrier of God's monergism; at which point there remains only the total reliance of faith upon the mercy of God in Christ. (It should also be noted that "godly sorrow" is a gift that comes from God, as well as the gift of faith. Yet, I stand to reason these monergstic gifts must be synergistically preserved and cultivated covenantally.)

Quote:
To deal with the dog and its own vomit, it's pretty straightforward. After his vomiting the dog is still a dog. Were the dog to be changed into a human . . .


What may a sinner be compared to if not a "dog"?
What may a redeemed sinner (saint) be compared to if not a dog, after it has vomitted, saved by grace? Do we think so highly of ourselves; or do we not regard the merciful One who sustains us worms?


Do you not have something new in you that was never there before? I sure do! Now the things I used to desire to do I no longer desire to do, and the things I hated to do I now desire to do. The ability to entirely fulfill the desire has not yet been granted and I long for glorification, nevertheless the desires have been made entirely new. It is like the pig and cat analogy.

A cat by its natural contact with the world will get muddy, but can’t stand it, whereas if you were to take a pig and wash the mud off, no sooner would it be turned loose, it would head back to the mud. The pig desires the mud, whereas the cat desires to be out of the mud. The pig is a jumper, the cat is a faller. Pushing the analogy further, the sinner used to be a pig with regards to sin, but having been regenerated they have been turned into a cat. There is something entirely different between the two, it is the desires.
Quote:

boG wrote:
Quote:
Likewise for the regenerate with the life of Christ imparted to them. When they have everlasting life, they no longer desire their own vomit. As dogs, only those who have stopped short of the saving change will have a desire to return to the vomit they have previously spewed out.


We know this is not true by scripture and conscience. And you also correct yourself on this very statement.


It is indeed true, even though the ability to entirely fulfill the desire has not yet been granted, nonetheless the desires are entirely new in the regenerate. Proven in Romans 7.
Quote:

boG wrote:
Quote:
Not one of us has achieved sinless perfection, and God as our Father allows/sends these to bring us back into right relationship with Him, when we by our sin, have caused His withdrawal.


Personally I consider my self no better than before I was raised up into newness of life by grace through faith in Christ Jesus by the same resurrection power. Shall I therefore boast in myself and consider myself more than I was before? If I boast in myself and say I have become better than I was then I deny the testimony of scripture and of my conscience ("I am prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love"); as well as also, I take upon my self the praise for whom only Christ in me is worthy to receive, therefore I boast in Him alone. I must decrease in all respects; if I was a dog before salvation then I am a worm in Christ and less than a worm; for I am nothing compared to Him and nothing without Him.


Regeneration ought to have changed your desires.
Quote:

boG wrote:
Would this not be the same as the redeemed sinner (dog), if even temporarily, returning to his former sins (vomit)? The difference is not that we do not still desire our former sins (such is the torment of this cursed flesh, [b]2 Peter 2:7[/b]). For no good thing dwells in my flesh, and yet here it remains until the time of our Lord's appearing and I do groan and suffer in my soul waiting expectantly for the salvation of my body.


There will be no salvation of your current body, like mine, it has an appointment with death. In the future the saints will have glorified bodies, the same body raised, yet made not subject to the consequences of sin. What we are to have now is the salvation of our soul, everlasting fellowship with God.
Quote:

boG wrote:
The difference is that by the grace of God we may put to death the deeds of the flesh daily, and overcome the desires of temptation by diligently pursuing the desires of the Holy Spirit in righteousness -- hungering and thirsting for His righteousness in Christ Jesus, wherefore He has promised that we shall be filled and satisfied in Him.


I could almost agree with you here until the “diligently pursuing the desires” part. The desires come with regeneration and ought to be there, the ability to entirely fulfill them is what we lack (Romans 7).
How might you diligently pursue the desires if they are not there and if you truly believe that no good thing dwells in your flesh? If God doesn’t first work it in you, is your flesh in which no good thing dwells able to put to death the deeds of the flesh? No! If God has worked it in you in the beginning why do you think He will stop when Phil 1:6 says He won’t stop?
Quote:

boG wrote:
Quote:
I know quite a few people that having heard of Christ and the Judgment to come have become very strict religious moralists, yet remain outside of Christ.


And so they have never been washed clean. They exchanged the offenses of one manner of wickedness for the defilement of another. Yet it all proceeds out of the same abundance from the sinner's heart and not from the abundance of riches in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

The bitter root of all sin is that man is become god unto himself, lord of his own heart.


Is this not what you are teaching when you teach that man must hold on to his own salvation? Is this not man being lord of his own heart?
Quote:

boG wrote:
Whatsoever a man thinks or commits apart from loving obedience to the Spirit of Christ, who is the Spirit of Life, is sin and leads to death.

Quote:
All His children have experienced this upon being convicted of sin (whether unforgiveness or something else); the tormenters come, and come quickly robbing us of peace until we pay that which is due, a humbling of ourselves before God in repentance.


This sounds just like the parable Jesus gave,
[b]Matthew 18
21.[/b] Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
[b]22.[/b] Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
[b]23.[/b] "[b]For this reason[/b] (because of what He just said) the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
[b]24.[/b] "When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.
[b]25.[/b] "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
[b]26.[/b] "So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, `Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.'
[b]27.[/b] "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.

So where is the differance Joe?


The difference is that the children of God never stop being His children because of being turned over to the ‘tormenters’. In fact, according to Heb 12:5-11 are even more so His children. You don’t lose salvation every time you sin and then get it back again later. Even if you believed that, Hebrews 6:4-6 would show that it is not be possible for salvation to go and come again. The saints are not born again and again and again, it only happens once. If your first sin of unforgiveness after salvation were to bring chastisement (tormenters) from God, do you really believe that you have lost your salvation? If you truly believe that it is lost then, Heb 6:4-6 would show that it absolutely cannot come back. From your talk above, it appears that you have experienced the ‘tormenters’, does that mean that you believe you have lost and then regained your salvation? I hope not for were that the case Heb 6:4-6 proves that to be an impossibility!
Quote:

boG wrote:
I have decided to make an admission, after considering this over; I have decided that it is not altogether accurate to say that the vomitting dog and the washed sow is a parable for "regeneration" -- though it is certainly a necessary condition leading to regeneration (edit: or perhaps, it is to be understood as a part of regeneration. That is, to take regeneration in parts: 1) to remove the old and 2) to establish the new.)

[b]Matthew 12
43.[/b] When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
[b]44.[/b] Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
[b]45.[/b] Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Which would parallel the statement of Peter, "For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them."


Sounds just like the JW’s. The “knowledge of” the Lord and Saviour is very different from “knowing” the Lord and Saviour. I have "knowledge of" Mohammed and "knowledge of" Allah for that matter, but there has been no spiritual conception from either of them imparted to me. Outward religiosity can temporarily sweep the house, but it cannot keep it clean.
Quote:

boG wrote:
So, I guess, this would lead us to the question: after a person is washed clean by the forgiveness of sins, what would hinder them from being filled with the Holy Spirit?


The Holy Spirit does the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5). If the man was regenerated, the Holy Spirit would be dwelling there. The filling of the Holy Spirit is entirely another matter altogether.

Why would you think the mere removal of a demon is equivalent to being washed from sin? Even Christ’s enemies were granted the ability to expel demons Matt 12:27, yet they preached not salvation. Not all who were cured of present maladies were saved (Luke 17:17-18).
Quote:

boG wrote:
Have they not been set free from their former enslavement?


Nope! They have been freed from EXTERNAL enslavement only but internal enslavement to sin still remains.
Quote:

boG wrote:
Is it possible they would have a [b]freed[/b]-will to choose good at this point?


Nope! See above.
Quote:

boG wrote:
As Jesus said,
[b]John 8
11.[/b] She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
[b]John 5
14.[/b] Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Now of course, a freed-will to sin no more will not bring salvation, much less regeneration, because "sinning no more" does not bring holiness. As there is a concrete demarcation between seeking His face [b]and[/b] turning from our wicked ways. I am convinced that regeneration is a divine act of God; I agree with monergistic regeneration.


Here is where we need to detail exactly what regeneration is.
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/6528/fund46.htm

How then, with such a supernatural change as the one described, can one lose it?
Quote:

boG wrote:
Yet, I also believe the entire human life is synergistic with the Holy Spirit interposed with God's divine monergism. This is a connotation of relationship, which may be a good (faith) relationship or bad (unbelief, resisting the Holy Ghost) relationship; such does not give preference of the Love of God one over another but rather only signifies the preferential love which a man may have towards God.

[b]Luke 7
40.[/b] And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
[b]41.[/b] There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
[b]42.[/b] And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
[b]43.[/b] Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
. . .
[b]47.[/b] Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
[b]48.[/b] And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
[b]49.[/b] And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
[b]50.[/b] And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

So then, let us consider, what is lacking between someone who has been forgiven their sins, being swept clean and put in order, and someone who has "by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit" been saved "so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according [b]to the hope[/b] of eternal life"?

[b]Romans 8
23.[/b] And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
[b]24.[/b] For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
[b]25.[/b] But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Is it then not reasonable that there are many who shall not make certain of their election "having forgotten his purification from his former sins"? And those who's love ([i]agape[/i], a love only received through the forgiveness of sins; [i]agape[/i] is that love which is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost) shall wane cold through offense ([b]Matthew 24:12[/b])?
[b]Matthew 24
13.[/b] But he that shall endure (perservere) unto the end, the same shall be saved.



At the end I have to ask:
What reason do you have to believe that someone that has been supernaturally regenerated by the very Spirit of God, with new desires imparted, will not persevere unto the end?

Old Joe

 2008/12/13 0:18
boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re: a question for a Calvinist

Quote:
How might you diligently pursue the desires if they are not there and if you truly believe that no good thing dwells in your flesh? If God doesn’t first work it in you, is your flesh in which no good thing dwells able to put to death the deeds of the flesh? No! If God has worked it in you in the beginning why do you think He will stop when Phil 1:6 says He won’t stop?


I agree with your "cat and pig" analogy, however, I did not say there were not new desires but that the old man wages war against the new man; the flesh is set against the Spirit. Therefore, the only way to diligently pursue the desires of righteousness is not by the flesh, that is absurd, but it is by faith in the Son of God.

Quote:
Regeneration ought to have changed your desires.


Is it not more accurate to say that regeneration has added to us new desires? as opposed to implying a replacement.

Quote:
"The bitter root of all sin is that man is become god unto himself, lord of his own heart."

Is this not what you are teaching when you teach that man must hold on to his own salvation? Is this not man being lord of his own heart?


I have never taught or suggested (or at least intended to) that man must hold on to his own salvation himself or even that he should consider himself able. The entire purpose of describing a believer as a worm in Christ is because worms are useless, weak, pitiful, helpless, etc., but make no mistake a worm with Christ on his side is no small matter. That is to say, the responsibility of man is faith in the Eternal Son; and faith is a confession of inability. So long as we recognize our own insufficiency in all things we shall say with sincerity of heart, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You [alone] have words of eternal life."

Quote:
You don’t lose salvation every time you sin and then get it back again later.


And that is why we have a better covenant built upon better promises. Were we subjected under the law contained in ordinances we might very well be falling "in and out" of salvation. However, if we are children according to the covenant of faith, wherefore we have an Advocate with the Father, and our only work is to believe on Christ Jesus and love one another according to His commandment ([b]John 6:29[/b]; [b]1 John 3:23[/b]).

Quote:
The Holy Spirit does the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5). If the man was regenerated, the Holy Spirit would be dwelling there. The filling of the Holy Spirit is entirely another matter altogether.


Thus I asked the question: why weren't they filled? Is it possible to be forgiven of ones sins and yet never enter in to the promise of the Holy Ghost?

Quote:
Outward religiosity can temporarily sweep the house, but it cannot keep it clean.


No, outward religiosity can do no such thing. The "sweeping of the house" is clearly a result of unclean spirits being cast out by the power of God; no such liberty can be obtained through ritual, there is no other Savior -- satan cannot cast out satan.

Quote:
Even Christ’s enemies were granted the ability to expel demons Matt 12:27, yet they preached not salvation.


Two questions:
1) do we have evidence to suggest that demons were actually being cast out by Christ's enemies, that is to say, were they merely dishonestly claiming to do such a thing? or,
2) were these who were casting out demons doing so according to the law of God given to Moses? That is to ask, was Christ comparing His ministry to the casting out demons by the old covenant? ie. if they were casting out demons by the promise of God contained in the law then how do they say Christ was not doing it by the same power of God.

Quote:
How then, with such a supernatural change as the one described, can one lose it?


Here is one possible way,
[b]Hebrews 6
4.[/b] For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
[b]5.[/b] and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
[b]6.[/b] and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
[b]7.[/b] For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;
[b]8.[/b] but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
[b]9.[/b] But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.

Quote:
At the end I have to ask:
What reason do you have to believe that someone that has been supernaturally regenerated by the very Spirit of God, with new desires imparted, will not persevere unto the end?


Because I am convinced that God does not force Himself upon anyone. The bonds of love ([b]Hosea 11:4[/b]) are not the same as chains of iron determinism. I do not stand opposed to the sovereignty of God, indeed I always give preference to His will, however not to the extinction of man's will. If before regeneration I could only choose evil, and that continually, then what stands opposed to a regenerated will turning against the Redeemer? I believe nothing can snatch us away from His love, yet [b]Hebrews 6[/b] agrees with [b]2 Peter 2[/b].
To be very honest, while I do appreciate the confidence that may be asserted from the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" I can also appreciate it's dangers. By what authority do we claim who is saved and who is not? We cannot because it is unknown to us on this side of eternity. We may ask "but do you not feel" or "but do you not desire" ... indeed I desire at the present and I stand assured before Him. Yet, no one shall disagree with me if I should say tomorrow "I no longer desire to know Jesus but I find His law a burden" that
1) calvinists would say "he was never truly saved" and,
2) arminians would say "he has fallen away"
and both would be correct in their own understanding, for they both describe the same event with different perspectives.
While calvinism may teach the doctrine of perserverance of the saints it cannot experientially guarantee that perserverace to any particular person. In this regard it remains nothing more than a comforting word. Indeed the Lord shall be with the elect until the very end to carry them home by His good pleasure; however, such is a hope, and it is extremely dangerous to allow such a doctrine to ensnare us with dumbness. If we do not retain a sensible balance of Sovereignty and man's will then we jeopardize the faith.
Not too many weeks ago there was such a man who came to a church "prophecying" scriptures he had memorized over people. I did not like it at all. He did not know those people he was speaking to and he continued to "encourage them in the faith" without any assurance whatsoever that these people were even sincere Christians. You cannot promise anyone they are going to heaven -- you may only give an exhortation. If at any time a man gives a promise to convince another of assuridty of salvation they may in the end damn poor souls for such a false witness. That is the importance of the continuous debate between Calvinists and Arminians, should the debate ever end I would fear such demonic doctrines as to birth great delusions among the people. You may say, "ah, but the elect will not be so deceived." It matters not, if the elect are not sensible to the mystery of faith, that they should with sincerity of heart make certain of their calling and election (not to imply an obtaining or purchasing of election but for the sake of conscience to obtain a full assurance of faith) then the body of believers shall have such a time of trouble re-convincing those they have convinced unto damnation with "once saved, always saved". While this may not seem such a terrible thing to you at the present, I should wonder if it shall not be so before the face of Christ -- if we shall hear the testimonies of the eternally condemned as they stand above the lake of fire, recalling to us, "you're the one who told me I was elect and sure of salvation."
If we do not recognize that "once saved, always saved" is a hope and not a standard of practical living then we do great damage to the gospel.


_________________
Jordan

 2008/12/13 20:40Profile
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Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
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 Re: a question for a Calvinist

This article was recommended to me by a brother here on SI, in response to my concerns for "presumption" of salvation.

[b]The Almost Christian Discovered;
Or, The False Professor Tried[/b]

By Matthew Mead, 1661

"You almost persuade me to be a Christian." Acts 26:28

(excerpt)

[b]Question I.[/b] How far a man may go in the way to heaven—and yet be but almost a Christian? This shown in twenty several steps.

[b]1.[/b] A man may have much knowledge—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]2.[/b] A man may have great and eminent spiritual gifts—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]3.[/b] A man may have a high profession of religion, be much in external duties of godliness—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]4.[/b] A man may go far in opposing his sin—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]5.[/b] A man may hate sin—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]6.[/b] A man may make great vows and promises, strong purposes and resolutions against sin—and vet be but an almost Christian
[b]7.[/b] A man may maintain a strife and combat against sin—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]8.[/b] A man may be a member of a Christian church—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]9.[/b] A man may have great hopes of heaven—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]10.[/b] A man may be under visible changes—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]11.[/b] A man may be very zealous in matters of religion—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]12.[/b] A man may be much in prayer—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]13.[/b] A man may suffer for Christ—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]14.[/b] A man may be called by God and embrace his call—and yet be but an almost Christian
[b]15.[/b] A man may have the Spirit of God—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]16.[/b] A man may have faith—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]17.[/b] A man may have a love to the people of God—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]18.[/b] A man may obey the commands of God—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]19.[/b] A man may be sanctified—and yet be but almost a Christian
[b]20.[/b] A man may do all the external duties and worship which a true Christian can—and yet be but almost a Christian

. . .
[b]2. Know this—that natural conscience is capable of great improvements from the means of grace.[/b] Sitting under the ordinances may exceedingly heighten the endowments of conscience. It may be much [i]regulated[/i], though it be not at all [i]renewed[/i]. It may be [i]enlightened, convinced[/i]—and yet never savingly [i]converted[/i] and changed. You read in Hebrews 6:4, of some that were "once enlightened, and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit." What work shall we call this? It could not be a [i]saving[/i] work, a true change and [i]conversion[/i] of state; for, notwithstanding this enlightening, and tasting, and partaking, yet they are here said to [i]fall away[/i], verse 6. Had it been a true work of grace—they could never have fallen away from that. A believer may fall—but he cannot fall away. He may fall foully—but he cannot fall finally; for, "underneath are the everlasting arms." His faith is established in the strength of that prayer of Christ, that our faith fail not. Nay, he tells us expressly, that it is eternal life which he gives—from which we shall never perish. This work, then, here spoken of, cannot be any [i]saving[/i] work, because it is not an [i]abiding[/i] work; for those who are under it, are said to fall away from it.

But though it be not a saving work—yet it is a [i]supernatural[/i] work. It is an improvement made by the Word upon the consciences of men, through the power of the Spirit; and therefore they are said to "taste the good Word of God," and to be made "partakers of the Holy Spirit." They have not the Spirit abiding in them savingly—but striving with them, and working upon them convincingly, to the awakening and setting conscience on work. And conscience, thus stirred, may carry a man very far in religion, and in the duties of the gospel—and yet be but a [i]natural[/i] conscience.

A common work of the Spirit, may stead a man very much in the duties of religion, though it must be a [i]special work of the Spirit[/i] which gives a man salvation.

-----------

I find this a fascinating statement. It is far more than most here, I should say, would ever so admit to the work of the Holy Spirit upon a condemned soul. If we stand convinced that God has sovereignly damned these souls as reprobates, then why fill them with the Holy Spirit only to depart from them at the last? Is this truly an accurate desciption of grace; or is this not more akin to the arminian position? For what reason shall we give for a Spirit-filled believer being not savingly wrought upon?

I will have to read the rest of the article another day, I am interested to see what this section entails. While I am unlikely to be altogher convinced of the previous argument I am always open to hear of how we may discern the spirit of a man, whether or not they stand as Caleb, "because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully".

[b]Question III.[/b] If a natural conscience may go thus far, then what difference is there between this natural conscience in hypocrites, and a renewed conscience in believers?


_________________
Jordan

 2008/12/14 3:07Profile





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