| Salvation - Can man be responsible for his sins?|
I have been a calvanist from my new birth in Christ almost 7 yrs ago. At this point in my walk I am having some deep and somewhat disturbing or boat rocking questions. Mainly, how does man's responsiblity align with the fact that scripture says that salvation is a gift i.e Ephesians 2 and that the things of God are foolishness to the natural man because he is spiritually discerned 1 Cor 2.
Secondly, if God is just by saving some and hardening others and sending them to hell (they are spiritually discerned so they cannot chose faith in Christ left to themselves right? So then, sinners are sent to hell and really in essence don't freely choose hell - they are just acting on their nature they are born with right?) when the Proverbs tells us that it is sin to disregard the needs of another when we have the means to do good and help i.e freeing all from hell and giving eternal life. If we are all bound to sin from birth through Adam and some are chosen to eternal life in paradise and others are hardened (and are only acting on their programmed sinful nature that was given to them) and not chosen for heaven with their Savior then what is the point of living and then being sent to hell? If salvation is completely of God than man cannot have any responsiblity (though some choose a more wicked lifestyle). Or, man is responsible and he has to ask God for faith and God out of His goodness and mercy will grant it (all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved). I am not blaspheming God in doubting His mercy and justice I am just struggling with the doctrine of salvation and man made compilations of thoughts and scriptures i.e. Arminianism/Calvanism etc.
| 2005/8/6 19:50||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Salvation - Can man be responsible for his sins?|
Am glad you are here. Hope you get opportunity to delve into the sermons and articles as well as sharing with saints from all different backgrounds here.
I am not blaspheming God in doubting His mercy and justice I am just struggling with the doctrine of salvation and man made compilations of thoughts and scriptures i.e. Arminianism/Calvanism
I am very much with you here and that is primarily in the latter part; [i]"man made compilations of thoughts and scriptures i.e. Arminianism/Calvinism[/i]"
Will see if I can recall the message, but it was Keith Daniel who made mention that in effect he kept both sides puzzled to which particular category he could be square pegged into. And I found that wonderful.
Personally, my experience with all of this issue and the problems with it, is in that it has become one. Therefore I have just let it go and left it to those who wish to tie their minds into pretzels over it, or make that others perhaps. Don't mean to be knocking it wrongly, I don't find fault with the reasonings containing truths but the verbiage gets to the point of miscommunication, fostering speculations and really causing additional burdens that ought not to be.
It's redundant, but I find much of this whole thing an vain attempt at trying to force God's mind where He has not explicitly stated such, it is us, mere men, trying to get something we are being barred from, otherwise the issue ought to have been settled long ago.
"The ways of the Lord are past finding out"
Surely that sounds too simplistic, but it seems we can often be trifling with things that are better left undone. Justification, responsibility, predestination, on and on it goes in this subsection and it seems to do more harm than good. Doing a quick search here would reveal a number of past threads on this if you were inclined, but I would spare you the additional headache/heartache...
Post's like this always generate a grieving, was where you are, perhaps it just got to the point where I didn't really care anymore. By that I mean what Calvinism teaches or what Arminianism teaches.
It seems there is enough to deal with in this walk, that being the inner life, our hearts, the wrestlings with the world, the flesh and the devil. The requirements of honesty in the inward parts to God, to ourselves and to each other. To be true worshipers of God in spirit and in truth. Allowing the disposition of Jesus to take over and to relinquish our hold, our control over circumstances...someone else better at this;
[b] In the Days of His Resurrection[/b]
Jesus put the early disciples through crises until they discovered that they could not be disciples by means of ordinary human sincerity and devotion. Human earnestness and vowing cannot make a man a disciple of Jesus Christ any more than it can turn him into an angel; a man must receive something, and that is the meaning of being born again. When once a man is struck by his need of the Holy Spirit, God will put the Holy Spirit into his spirit. In regeneration, a mans personal spirit is energised by the Holy Spirit, and the Son of God is formed in him (see Galatians 1:15-16; 4:19). This is the New Testament evangel, and it needs to be re-stated. New birth refers not only to a mans eternal salvation, but to his being of value to God in this order of things; it means infinitely more than being delivered from sin and from hell. The gift of the essential nature of God is made efficacious in us by the entering in of the Holy Spirit; He imparts to us the quickening life of the Son of God, and we are lifted into the domain where Jesus lives (see John 3:5).
Our creeds teach us to believe in the Holy Spirit: the New Testament says we must receive Him. The man who is crumpled up with sin is the one who most quickly comes to realise his need. It takes the upright man a long while to realise that his natural virtues are the remnants of a design which has been broken, and that the only way the design can be fulfilled is by his being made all over again. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The bedrock in Jesus Christs kingdom is poverty, not possession; weakness, not strength of will; infirmity of character, not goodness; a sense of absolute poverty, not decisions for Christ. Blessed are the poor in spirit. That is the entrance, and it takes a long time to bring us to a knowledge of our own poverty. The greatest blessing we ever get from God is to know that we are destitute spiritually.
Fully aware that this all may not address your questions directly. There is somewhat of a principal that I have come to find in "gleaning" from so much, a large portion directly or indirectly through this very site. Not in a pick and choose style, that which 'sit's' well, but that which rings true and squares with scripture already internalized (still subject to correction and re-evaluation).
As it pertains to this "subject", perhaps it's for another day, what do you find the Lord drawing you toward, could it be to let this go for the time being? It may well be that you are to wrestle with it, could only encourage to leave off the others thoughts and take the questions to scripture and prayer, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide you.
| 2005/8/6 22:44||Profile|
T'ain't cuz yer a 5 star man 'round these here parts ... but I gotta say, that was one of the best answers to this question I've seen in a dog's age.
Could we plagiarize ya here for future quandries ?
Peace/Shalom to you and Servant2U.
| 2005/8/6 23:25|
| Re: Salvation - Can man be responsible for his sins?|
I have been a calvanist from my new birth in Christ almost 7 yrs ago. At this point in my walk I am having some deep and somewhat disturbing or boat rocking questions. Mainly, how does man's responsiblity align with the fact that scripture says that salvation is a gift.
May I sugjest you look VERY closly at both views with a mind that has no predudice and discrimination of eather.
Secondly, if God is just by saving some and hardening others and sending them to hell (they are spiritually discerned so they cannot chose faith in Christ left to themselves right?
Wrong! They can if the law has done it work in them, they will end up like paul in Romans 7: 24 "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" that is when any one is ready for the Gosple.
Quote: again, wrong!
So then, sinners are sent to hell and really in essence don't freely choose hell - they are just acting on their nature they are born with right?)
All are chooseing hell when they deny the Sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross and his resrection. And GOD is good to all that they will have a chance. Yes even the Pigmees in the deep dark reagons of Africa where the Gosple has not yet reached. Rom 1:18-20 for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness (they know the truth but suppress it);
: 19 because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.
: 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Romans 2:14, 15 The Gentiles (even the Pigmees) do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law.
: 15 Their conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them.
Quote: God only harden your heart if you've already hardend your heart passed HIS point of acceptabelness (know one knows that point)
others are hardened
Quote: good conclusion!
(and are only acting on their programmed sinful nature that was given to them) and not chosen for heaven with their Savior then what is the point of living and then being sent to hell? If salvation is completely of God than man cannot have any responsiblity (though some choose a more wicked lifestyle). Or, man is responsible and he has to ask God for faith and God out of His goodness and mercy will grant it (all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved).
| 2005/8/8 15:39||Profile|
1 Timothy 2:4
who [God] wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?" [This is] the declaration of the Lord God. "Instead, don't I [take pleasure] when he turns from his ways and lives?
"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!
I want you to know that I have thought about the exact same thing you have posted. I take great comfort in knowing that God loves me...and he loves the world.
I have to echo my brother when he says that "God only hardens your heart if you've already hardend your heart passed HIS point of acceptabelness (know one knows that point)"
We have the example of Pharaoh, whose heart was hardened by God. God only gave Pharaoh what he wanted anyway. He did not force Pharaoh to do anything.
Romans 1:18-32 gives an example of this:
18 For God's wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,
19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. 20 From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. 21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. 24 [u]Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves.[/u] 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 [u]This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions.[/u] For even their females exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural. 27 The males in the same way also left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty for their perversion. 28 [u]And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.[/u] 29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. 32 Although they know full well God's just sentence--that those who practice such things deserve to die--they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.
As we can see, God doesn't force anyone to sin. He will though, turn someone over to the sin they are entagled in, if they do not desire repentance.
| 2005/8/8 16:44||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Salvation - Can man be responsible for his sins?|
This is not a direct answer to your question but in regards to the armenianism/calvanism issue, here's some brief notes I have from when I did some study on this, maybe this will be of some help, maybe it will confuse you further, I hope the former is true.
There are many different starting points(touchstones)in religion today.
Some start with God's sovereignty as a touchstone (Calvin) This developed into a whole system.
Some start with God's morality as a touchstone (Armenius) This also developed into a whole system.
There are many other touchstones in religion. God is power, God is spirit, God is love and God is just, all becoming touchstones. These roots become overshadowing. This is religion based on humanism, with man at the center. There are some good things in each of them, but there must be a balance of them all, with God at the center. These touchstones, these things, are just different facets of the same diamond. There is one thing that brings all these other things together and gives them meaning.
What do we have in God that is different than these touchstones? The proper touchstone that will hold us in balance is that God is a Father. This brings significance and relatedness to all the facets.
God has dealt with us through His only created son(Adam) and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. All relates to Him as a Father.
| 2005/8/8 19:57||Profile|