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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

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Jimotheus
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Joined: 2005/7/8
Posts: 53


 Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

Grace, peace, and love be multiplied:

I realize that there is a renewed love affair with what is commonly called, Calvinism, perserverance of the saints, Once-saved-always-saved, etc. With some in the visible Christian Church who seemed to be rising stars such as our brother, Paul Washer and others; it seems to me that we should call into question whether Calvinism is the faith that was once delivered to the saints, or is it rank heresy. Personally, I do not care that this subject has been debated for centuries. Some have used that fact as a cop-out so as to avoid any discussion of the matter. I remember hearing a message by Paul Washer entitled, "Calvinism is not the issue" however Mr. Washer preaches Calvinism without calling it such in many of his sermons. I say Calvinism should be an issue in these last days, Why? If indeed this is heresy it needs to be rejected as such. If John Calvin's theology is not the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints, then it is pure heresy. I say that it is indeed heresy, and should be repudiated as such.

#1. "Limited atonement"
(or as Paul Washer and others would put it, particular redeemption) Simply put, Jesus Christ did not die for the sins of the whole world, but only those whom God has particularly chosen from eternity past.

This is false. The atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ was not limited to a priviledged few as Calvinist believe. This is in direct contradiction to the categorical affirmations of St.John 3:16; II Cor. 5:19; I Timothy 2:1-6; Titus 2:11-12; I John 2:1-2; 4:14-15. It would seem that the apostles knew nothing of some so-called limited atonement (particular redeemption) as taught by Calvin's disciples.

#2. "Unconditional elect"
The doctrine of election has been perverted by Calvinist for centuries. When we approach any passage of scripture, we must allow the context to determine our understanding of what a passage teaches and not the nessesities of our theology. When considering the passages used by the Calvinist to preach unconditional elect of particular men, it is always removed from the context and interpreted according to the Calvinistic nessesities. Let me say simply that God has not elected any particular person unconditionally except the man Christ Jesus. Isa. 42:1; I Pet. 2:6. According to the bible the election of God is cooperate and only encompasses individuals as they relate to the cooperate body whether that body is "The body of Christ", or, "The Israel of God."(Gal.6:16). In the epistle to the Ephesians chapter one, the apostle Paul make this quite clear. The apostle uses the plural pronouns "us" and "we" That the "us" and the "we" were chosen "in him" before the foundation of the world (v.4) And that "we" have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him..." (v.11) that is the election is a cooperate election and only encompasses particular men as they relate to Christ, "IN HIM." According to Paul (and John), we are only elect IN THE SON not an election of particular men as taught by Calvin. This is also true when considering the cooperate election of "The Israel of God." Paul speaks of "SOME" (not all) of the branches were broken off because of "unbelief" in Romans 11:17,20. Notice that the cooperate election of Israel remains in tact while concerning "SOME" jews were cut off (not by some so-called eternal decree of reprobation of particular persons) but because of, "UNBELIEF." These same jews that were broken off because of "unbelief" were not fatalistically unconditionally reprobated beyond hope by a past eternal decree by God for in verse 23 of Romans eleven we read, "And they also (those broken off v.20), if they abide still not in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in AGAIN."

Let me just mention a couple of points: It is erroneously believed that predestination and election mean the same thing; this is false. They do not mean the same though the are related. Secondly, some have erroneously believed that to question Calvin's assumptions concerning unconditional election and reprobation of particular men is to question the sovereignty of God, this is absurd. The sovereignty of God does not stand or fall on man's response to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Men and women could choose either way and it would not nor cannot impinge on the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is an unquestionable fact in scripture even if we never existed. So those who would accuse us who reject Calvinism as opposing the sovereignty of God are sadly mistaken. Well, I have written enough for now. I will wait for whatever replies for continued discussions. Marantha!!

 2009/7/5 14:43Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re: Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

Quote:
The sovereignty of God does not stand or fall on man's response to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Men and women could choose either way and it would not nor cannot impinge on the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is an unquestionable fact in scripture even if we never existed. So those who would accuse us who reject Calvinism as opposing the sovereignty of God are sadly mistaken.



Amen , this is very true and sadly much misunderstood.


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CHRISTIAN

 2009/7/5 14:51Profile
sojourner7
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Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

The "U" in Calvin's theology is for unmerited
favor; none of us have any merit upon which
to claim salvation; none of us have standing
with a just an holy GOD.
Since salvation is by GOD's choosing and willing
and giving of HIS grace; this is what election
means.


_________________
Martin G. Smith

 2009/7/9 10:17Profile









 Re: Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

I consider myself to view most of the Calvinistic teachings as biblical, however, I reject the doctrine of "Once Saved Always Saved". I really don't know how people can have that so fixed in their minds. I can say that I am saved because I continually trust in my LORD and saviour.

But for me to "say" that I am always saved is not for me to say. Think of Judas. His life was prophetically chosen to betray the Son of God. He was chosen by Jesus to be His disciple. We know NOW because it is written all that he did, but picture yourself in that group standing there with them. You would think that you were part of a dynamic team. This great man who preaches the gospel does fantastic miracles and healing chose me to be apart of His team. And the whole time He did not know that He was chosen to be the one to betray the Son of God. That is scary.

What if one of us is chosen to be an Anti Christ? One who has tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost Hebrews 6:1-8 and if they should fall away to renew themselves unto repentance and I am thrusted out because I can't get back in. After awhile I am going to get hardened and I am going to hate God.

It was God who hardened the hearts of the men on the way to Emmaus while Jesus communed with them. It was God who blinded the eyes of the Pharisees because He didn't want to save them.

Quote:
For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

I don't know about you but the fear of God is one thing that I don't want Him to take away from me. We can't forget about that little word "IF" that is littered in the New Testament.

 2009/7/9 11:33
rnieman
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Joined: 2008/10/24
Posts: 146


 Re: Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

Jimotheus: I agree with you on your defense, the Lord has shown me God's Sovereignty and man's responsiblity in the role of salvation. Even Spurgeon preached this. But, to call calvinism Heresy, how can one reconcile the fact that God used a Whitefield, Edwards and many others in Revival and at the same time hold to calling their position Heresy. A heretic marshalling a "Genuine Revival??? As said many times before on this board, there's mystery on how God "exactly" goes about saving sinners. In past revivals, both positions came together in "Unity" to pray and seek God that He may grant an outpouring, not to correct one anothers doctrine. I.E. John Wesley & George Whitefield and the holiness club that they started while disagreeing on doctrine. Again is it Heresy or Mystery? In love, rnieman

 2009/7/9 12:32Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4790


 Re: Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

Quote:
So those who would accuse us who reject Calvinism as opposing the sovereignty of God are sadly mistaken.



Scripture clearly confirms your thoughts...

Job 36:4 For truly my words [are] not false; One who is perfect in knowledge [is] with you.

Job 36:5 "Behold, God [is] mighty, but despises [no one]; [He is] mighty in strength of understanding.

Job 36:6 He does not preserve the life of the wicked, But gives justice to the oppressed.

Job 36:7 He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But [they are] on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, And they are exalted.

Job 36:8 And if [they are] bound in fetters, Held in the cords of affliction,

Job 36:9 Then He tells them their work and their transgressions-- That they have acted defiantly.

Job 36:10 He also opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they turn from iniquity.

Job 36:11 If they obey and serve [Him], They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.

Job 36:12 But if they do not obey, They shall perish by the sword, And they shall die without knowledge. [fn]

Job 36:13 "But the hypocrites in heart store up wrath; They do not cry for help when He binds them.

Job 36:14 They die in youth, And their life [ends] among the perverted persons. [fn]


Keep preachin...

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2009/7/9 12:54Profile
whyme
Member



Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:

I've gotten too involved in these debates with people who are unwaveringly convinced of their positions to wade into this again. I would like to say this though. I know a lot of people who follow reformed teaching. To a man, they would all be just as happy if the truth of salvation is that God gives an opportunity to all men, meaning each and every man who has ever lived is given a real opportunity to believe in Christ. Equally, they would all be happy if the universalist were right and everybody got saved ( of course we don't see either as Scripturally accurate ). What I see from the other side often though is a statement that the reformed view makes God out to be a monster, manipulative or unloving. They add that "the God they know" would never choose just some and they wouldn't want that God to be their God. That I think, based on Scripture, is a very dangerous attitude and one upon which they may be risking their very souls. Finally, where you land on this issue really does affect the way you view the world, evil, your confidence in your eternal future, your preaching and teaching, the spiritual health of the visible church, even your view of God himself. That is why this issue has been debated for centuries and why it is an important debate as it can directly affect the believer's state of mind and ministry. I am comforted, however, that the positions held on this will never affect the outcome of anyone's salvation. Discussing the cause of salvation is not near as important as ensuring the reality of it personally. As for those who would say the debate is fodder for the devil, please understand that the Pelagian heresy fought by Augustine was considered a watershed event in Church history as was the Protestant Reformation ( Please don't forget, the Catholic Church is where Semi-Pelagianism and cooperative salvation grew up, James Arminius was a copy cat)

 2009/7/9 15:32Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re: Is Calvinism the Faith that was once delivered to the saints?

edit: posted wrong thread


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 2009/7/9 16:03Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
Finally, where you land on this issue really does affect the way you view the world, evil, your confidence in your eternal future, your preaching and teaching, the spiritual health of the visible church, even your view of God himself. That is why this issue has been debated for centuries and why it is an important debate as it can directly affect the believer's state of mind and ministry.



Amen.


_________________
TJ

 2009/7/9 18:31Profile









 Re:

Quote:
I've gotten too involved in these debates with people who are unwaveringly convinced of their positions to wade into this again.

It does seem pointless doesn't it. We can argue and debate because we have time on our hands and we live in a country that gives us that freedom. But if we lived under different circumstances where the freedom to do these things is not there, we won't care if anyone has a bed of T.U.L.I.P.(s) in their garden. Paul's concern was that when you believed did you receive the holy Ghost. Once we've gotten that it says that He will guide into all truth IF were willing to be lead. That's another topic.

 2009/7/9 21:01





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