<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]To receive salvation, a man must be drawn and called by God (for salvation is of God, not of us), and then answer His call and receive His grace. If any man will hear God and receive His word, he will be granted faith in Christ and repentance to life.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>I am in totally agreement, and would add that everyone drawn and called by God will come to the father. If a person is drawn and called, there is no option to reject this work of God. Would you agree with that? I am going to venture a guess and say not, but if so, you are in danger of calling Jesus a liar. Jesus states in John 6:37 that, “all that the Father gives me will come to me and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out.” Then a little be further, in verse 39 Jesus says, “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” Then in 6:44,45, Jesus states, ”No one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be taught of God, there for everyone who has heard and learned from the father comes to me.” <br><br>It is patently clear, Josh, that if you are going to maintain that to receive salvation a man must be drawn and called by God, then you are going to have to recognize that only those who are drawn and called are the elect, those given to the son by the father as Jesus said in John 6:37. Moreover, those given to the son by the father will be raised up in the last day, which eliminates your idea of a person loosing salvation, and the only way a person can come to Jesus is if the father draws him and he will come. That means that salvation is not an open door for people to come and go as they please like they do in a lounge. Those drawn and called will come, they will believe and follow Christ, and they are eternally secure. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"](Fred Asks) "The really burden of proof, however, is for you Josh, to show us, from the text of scripture, why you believe men have the ability to cooperate with God in salvation."<br><br>(then Josh replies)<br>Certainly, John 5:25 says,<br><br>"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."<br><br>As you can see, there is regeneration does not precede hearing the call of God, but those that hear will live. How can they hear while they are dead? If God's call can even reach those who are physically dead, then why not those that are spiritually dead as well? Does God compel them to hear, I don't think so; for while it is God who opens the ears and the heart, man can resist him and shut himself off to God's word.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Just a couple of questions: first, are these dead spoken of by Jesus spiritually dead or physically dead? Why or why not? Then secondly, do you agree with Jesus words in the previous verse, 5:24, that, who hears my words and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not pass into judgment? In other words, if you are going to use this as a proof text that men have the ability to receive or reject the gospel (even though this section of scripture doesn’t even address that issue), are you ready to also accept the teaching that those who believe will not face judgment, or put another way, loose their salvation?<br><br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] (Fred had asked) Are there any principles of hermenuetics you utilize when you study the Bible? <br><br>(Josh Responds)They don't have to be similar, simply about the same subject, salvation specifically.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>That is a rather naïve assumption. Any proper way to study the Bible would first deal with the exegesis of the text at hand then move out to other texts under consideration. Furthermore, it would first be helpful for you to determine if the text you are using as a proof text is actually talking about salvation specifically, or if you wrongly think it does because it helps under gird your pretext. In other words, you may think a particular verse or passage supports your ideas about salvation, but when placed in the context of where it is found, the author has something else in mind when he wrote. Romans 11:32 is a good example. Paul is not talking about universal salvation, at least not in the manner that you advocate it. The text of Romans 11 is in the broader context of Paul’s discourse about Israel and the Gentiles, and he is specifically addressing the point of why Israel is disobedient, and the purpose of that in relationship to Gentiles. Because of those over riding exegetical factors, it is muddleheaded to suggest Paul is talking about Christ dying for every single person without exception. I believe many others on the board have answered your objection to this, and I will let them answer for me as well.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Many contend that the phrase "in Me" does not necessarily mean saved.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Could you list some of those many who contend that the phrase “in me” does not necessarily mean saved? Are they reputable Biblical teachers, or fruitcakes like Dan Corner?<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]But I cannot think of an example from scripture where a person can be 'in Christ' and not be saved.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Really? Now why is that do you think?<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]But if being 'in Christ' is 'not necessarily being saved', then why would Christ command us to remain in that in order to bear fruit? 'Abide,' indicates continuation, and a person who abides in Him will bear fruit. If a person were not really saved, then abiding anywhere or in anything would do no good at all. To put it simply, you cannot remain in what you were never in, and it does no good to remain in where you should not be. That is why I believe that this is a reference to conditional salvation.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>First, who is to say that those people were in to begin with? What brings you to that conclusion? John understood that there were individuals claiming to be “in Christ” but left the church and thus demonstrating that they were never apart of Christ to begin with. (1 John 2:19) How exactly do you understand that passage? Moreover, 2 John and Jude are written to warn believers against false teachers who would try to lead them astray. Nothing in 2 John, Jude, or 2 Peter 2 remotely even suggests that these false teachers were once really saved, but then somehow lost their salvation. That is something you are reading into the Bible.<br>We are told to abide, because like you state, Christ wants us to bear fruit. Those who continue to abide demonstrate the proof of their salvation; those who do not show they were never saved to begin with.<br><br> <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]To go back to the original language, 'believes' in John 3:16 is present active tense, indicating a presently occuring event. So those who "are believing" in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Actually, the word is a participle, as Pilgrim pointed out from a post last week, and is literally rendered “every believing one.” John is not talking about belief as an abstract notion of belief in a set of principles, or the gospel. He is talking about a group of individuals, the believing ones, or the ones believing, ie, the Church, or God’s people. Moreover, you do not deal with the remainder of the verse, or the entire context of what John is talking about. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]The question is then, can a person lose their faith? I believe so, consider 1 Timothy 5:11-12, which speaks of younger women who are supported by the church, but begin to turn against Christ, it says,<br><br>"But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith."<br><br>People sometimes ask me, "well, what was their first faith?" Not to be condescending, but one does not have condemnation for casting off a false faith.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>This is a perfect example of how you have a skewed Bible study methodology. First, you leave the context of John 3 and go over to 1Timothy to bolster your claim of conditional salvation. Second, you do not even consider what Paul is talking about by not looking at the context. Let me ask you, why do you think Paul is talking about a woman’s salvation here? Is it because he states they cast off their first faith? Are you actually saying that because a young widow desires to be married that she is in danger of loosing her salvation? If you look at the entire context of the passage here, you will notice that Paul is laying out directions on taking care of widows. More than likely, what Paul is talking about is not a loss of salvation, but a young woman who may have pledged to remain a widow in service to the church; then after they have a period of time to grieve for their deceased husband, become desirous to remarry. The point Paul is making is that young widow women should not be taken care of by the church so that they become idle and busybodies. Paul is encouraging the church not to be a stumbling block to young ladies who may be thinking immaturely. So, the thought Paul is making when he states that the women cast off their first faith is not referring to loosing salvation, but disregarding their service to the church they had pledged after becoming widows. Paul is not talking about personal salvation, but a person possibly breaking a vow. <br> <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] (Fred had stated) "That is what John summed up in his epistle that they went out from us, because they were not of us (1 John 2:19). These people were not Christian to begin with. If they had been, their would had been perseverance on their part."<br><br>(Josh responds) What John was saying was that those who were not of God departed from out of the church, not from following God.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>What exactly is the difference and how do you arrive at this conclusion? Are you saying they left First Baptist church and moved their membership to Bible community church?<br> <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]No, I do not believe that a small doctrinal error is damnable, this is evidenced by the fact that I do consider Calvinists to be Christians, albeit errant on a secondary point. But the Galatians were a bit different you see, Paul said that they had been taken by another gospel, and noted in Galatians 1:8,<br><br>"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."<br><br>It's kind of funny talking to a Calvinist about this, because the charge that I believe in works righteousness is often leveled falsely against me. But the Galatian believers were moved from the true gospel into a false on, and some who had known God embraced it.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>If you are correct, then Peter temporarily lost his salvation, along with Barnabas. So, did the Holy Spirit leave them both and then came back after Paul rebuked them?<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]"Of course not all of the believers were taken in by this, it was not to these that Paul wrote,<br>For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. <br>Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. <br>For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."<br><br>But to those who had embraced this false gospel, he proclaimed that Christ had become of no effect to them, and that they had fallen from grace; and contrasted them with those who still waited for righteousness by faith, that is to say, the ones who had not gone after the false gospel. So he was confident that those who had not fallen from grace would heed his words in one accord</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Was Peter and Barnabas part of this second group? Paul says that both of them were to be blamed.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Not really, the false prophets often (I would say usually) came from the holy people of Israel. Peter's description of them shows that they were believers at one time, for how can one "escape the pollutions of the world by knowing the Lord Jesus Christ," and not be saved? As most of you are so fond of pointing out to me, the spiritually dead can do nothing to be subject to God's law. So how then did they rid themselves (even for a time) of the world's pollutions -- much less by the knowledge of Christ?</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Peter has specific OT illustrations in mind when he wrote his epistle. None of them are examples of false prophets coming from with in the people. Most importantly, however, Peter states in 2:1, that the false teachers brought in destructive heresies from the outside, meaning that the false teachers were not a part of the congregation, but crept in unnoticed, sly moving along side the people of God. Jude confirms Peter’s words in his epistle when he writes that these men who crept in unnoticed, indicating that they came in from the outside. These were not well intentioned believers who happened to go bad, but bad unbelievers who happened to come into the church from the outside. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] Now about the warnings in scripture, if it is impossible for a thing to happen to us, then why are we warned of it? You seem to think that this is to 'weed out' the true believers from the false, that not one true believer will be lost, and that the scriptures do not imply conditional salvation. Here is where I have a problem, if a conditional statement is made (such as in Revelation 22:19), then that is a condition that is set. It would not matter if the fulfillment or violation of that condition ever occured, it is still a condition. So I cannot see why you fault me for believing in conditional salvation.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Your problem is that you gloss over the context of where the condition is found. You do not consider the intention of the writer, as well as the overall theme of his epistle. Also, you ignore the obvious eternal security passages that we have been pointing out to you. And one textual note. If you have a reputable study Bible, it should note that Revelation 22:19 is a textual variant. In the bulk of good NT manuscripts of Revelation, the text adds the word “may” to Revelation 22:18 and 19. Thus, they are not conditional statements of threat, but John’s personal commentary in the form of a curse against those who would take away from, or add to the Revelation. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Secondly, I do believe that God's word clearly states that some will not remain in God's grace, but will fall away. Matthew 24:12 says, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."Yep, 'love' in this passage is agape love.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>What difference does the word agape mean? Are you assuming that any use of the word agape implies Christian love? That is a boneheaded assumption, and it would do you well to read some reputable Greek grammarians on the use of agape and philo love. DA Carson has a good study in his short little book, “Exegetical Fallacies.” Nothing in Matthew 24:12 means these are Christians loosing their salvation. You are reading that into the passage. The same goes for 1 Corinthians 16:22.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Thirdly, if the warnings in scripture are given by God with the intention that we receive them and believe them, (such as: If I do not abide in Christ, then I will be 'cut off,' or that my name will be 'removed from the book of life'), then why do you fault me for taking them quite literally? If it was God's purpose that believers actually believe His warnings, then am I not serving God's purpose by teaching the same and believing it to be so? And are you not defying God's purpose by stating effectively that such could never happen, therefore making His warning of no effect? Just a thought.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Again, as I stated above, you have some flawed Bible study skills that need to be corrected. I do not say that to make fun of you, but to point out a weakness in your argumentation. With these warning passages, your don’t consider context, purpose of writing, the intention of the writer, and the theme of the epistle when throwing up your proof texts. Those factors are key in making an effective argument in favor of a particular position, let alone understand the Bible. By taking the Bible “literally” as you state, perverts the work of Christ on the cross, and casts disdain upon the promises of God to save a people unto himself. <br> <br>Talk at you in a couple of months<br>Fred<br><br>

"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns