Merits imply deserving or earning something, any merit can be a condition, but not all conditions are merits. No one merits God's grace or salvation, but God has decreed that we must believe to be saved. If God were obliged to save any that believe, then faith would be a merit; but God is not obliged to do anything for us, He does it out of His love and patience for those that heed His word.<br><br>Josh
Double talk? I majored in it (kidding)! Let me show you some right now.
First off, my illustration is not out of sync with the Bible, I double dare you to show me where it is. But your idea that men are so dead that they cannot respond to God in any way is. You are simply overdrawing an analogy, I might as well say since believers are crucified with Christ and are dead to sin (Romans 8) that we can no longer commit even the smallest sin, so your own argument is a double edged sword.
IRT: "However, this 'grace', as you are wanting to call it cannot save either man on its own. It is but an 'aid' to their rescue and nothing more. It is powerless to actually save a drowning man. There is no inherent salvific power in your "grace"."
No, the life ring does not merely aid, but saves a drowning man (and may double as a seat cushion--kidding), it simply requires that the man embrace it. This is a condition, not a double payment. Your arguments are nothing more than word games.
IRT: "Therefore, if either man is to be saved, there is something which must be added to that "grace", i.e., their determination, decision, and seizing hold of that lifesaving device, aka "grace". To now insist that there is nothing that differs between the two men is ludicrous. For in fact the ONLY thing that differs between the one who is saved and the one who perishes is the one's will and action. Thus salvation is not of Grace but of "grace" + works."
Your whole argument is based on the assumption that hearing God's call and responding to it are works, such is not Biblical, as I have doubly demonstrated in posts past. "Faith comes by works and works by the word of God--??" This puts your argument into a doctrinal double whammy.
IRT: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that you are embracing SYNERGISM while God's Word teaches MONOGISM!! (Jonah 2:9)"
Jonah taught no such thing. While the price of salvation was paid solely by God, we must receive it. Consider
Luke 7:30, "But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him."
They did not receive the word of God and thereby rejected His counsel for themselves, showing that men do have a choice. But as I have said before and I will double emphasize here, it is not our choice that saves us, it is God's grace. We must receive God's grace, but to say that is 'adding' to grace is like saying that faith is added to grace because we are saved by grace through faith. This disproves your argument both logically and scripturally, putting it into double jeopardy.
I will give you a silly illustration in a double post below.
IRT: "And the third is one who initially has "salvation" but out of his love of the world fails to use it wisely and consequently looses it."
I often get arguments such as: "If you believe that you made a decision for Christ, then you also must think you earned/merited your salvation!" or "You think you saved yourself!" and my favorite, "If it was you who endured, or even if you had anything to do with it, you would have something to boast of, and God would be robbed of having all the glory in eternity, etc..."
For those of you who subscribe to such ideas, I have written a bit of a silly poem to illustrate how this kind of thinking stands up to reality, told from the perspective of my life, enjoy.
My name is Joshua Caleb T. in ruse I tell no lie I write to say that through my choices I've become quite a wonderful guy
Even when I was young, as I surmised, the good in me was realized my dear aunt gave to me great gifts that I would earn them, she pre-recognized
One year amidst mistletoe and candle I unwrapped more Star Wars than a kid could handle so I took the gift that was proffered and gave a merry thanks to her
Now I fail to grasp how some fail to see how this meritorious act hath made much of me For as any can see, unless hindered by blindness that it was my receiving and not her kindness
I chose to accept it, (tis' required in receiving), and since I made that choice, then it's merited by me so t'was then myself that got me the gift that evening so it's plain then how truly generous am I, not she
But there's more to be told if I may make inference that my life's been preserved by my wise perseverance
In boot camp where I was a soldier made, we would shout and shoot and promenade in the latter weeks as required of all I chanced to throw my first grenade
of the dangers present, I could write vast tomes for I throw almost as well as I write poems but to impede the shrapnel's merciless cavalcade the Army had constructed a strong barricade
"Stay behind the wall," the drill sergeant said "You could lose your life if you lose your head" "Throw as far as you can, then duck in the cleft," "and do not stray to the right or the left"
So I lobbed the explosive with all the force I could muster my success was unequaled -- except maybe by Custer I waited in tension as some seconds passed then the roughly made shelter absorbed one more blast
Now I hope you can follow the trail I'm on that my own wit and cunning brought me safe from the bomb If you credit the cover, be duly reminded that it was me, not the wall, that stood behind it
And so I brag freely, of perseverance perfected my wisdom, not the bricks, hath the shrapnel deflected Sure I strayed once or twice from the correct area but after only fifty pushups, I got the idea
So you see friends and neighbors, what I've done is substantial the gift-giver and shield were mere circumstantial But if you say "Tis' expected! That's nothing to boast!" then I say quite objective, "You are wiser than most"
In reply to:[color:"blue"]Nope, he simply humbled himself and repented.
Which is it:
[*]Saul humbled himself and repented and therefore God chose to save him.[*]OR.. God's choice to save Saul from eternity precipitated the sending of the Holy Spirit Who made Saul alive and the fruit/evidence of that regenerating work of the Spirit was that Saul humbled himself and repented.[/LIST]In His Grace,
Josh, Good afternoon to you! I believe that #'s 1 and 2 covered the bases. Your #3 (the correct answer, as you say), that God foreknew that Saul would humble and believe, is really the same as #1. In other words, #3 simply means God was dependent upon Saul...Saul would humble and believe, and thus God saved him. God's saving foreknowledge is still dependent upon what Saul would do. Steve
In reply to:Double talk? I majored in it (kidding)! Let me show you some right now.
And you aptly demonstrated your prowess to speak "doubletalk" in the various statements of your reply. Delusion is so hard to escape from, isn't it!
In reply to:]But your idea that men are so dead that they cannot respond to God in any way is. You are simply overdrawing an analogy, blah, blah, blah . . .
To the contrary, I am simply accepting the biblical language in its proper context and thus iterating to you what it is teaching about being "dead in trespasses and sins. (cf. Gen 6:5; 8:21; Eccl 9:3; Jer 17:9 Mk 7:21-23; Jh 3:3, 5, 19; Rom 1:18ff; 8:7, 8; 1Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1-5; 4:17-19; 5:8; Titus 1:15. See also, Jh 8:34, 44; Rom 6:20; 2Tim 2:25, 26; Titus 3:3; 1Jh 3:10; 5:19; et al).
Jesus spoke cogently and clearly when He said, "No man [color:red]CAN (Gk: dunatai) come unto me unless the Father Who sent me [color:red]draw (Gk: elkuw [cf. Jh 18:10; 21:6, 11; Acts 21:30) him." (Jh 6:44)
In reply to:[color:"blue"]No, the life ring does not merely aid, but saves a drowning man (and may double as a seat cushion--kidding), it simply requires that the man embrace it. This is a condition, not a double payment.
You are once again begging the question and assuming that which is not taught in the Scriptures; i.e., that men are merely "drowning", not dead but rather in peril of dying. That's why I rejected and will continue to point out the fallacy of your view. Again, to use your illustration, men are drowned and lying on the bottom of the ocean; dead, lifeless with no desire for rescue nor even life itself. They are "living dead". By inspiration, Moses describes this truth when he wrote of the fall of Adam and the consequences of that fall; Genesis 2:17 (KJV) "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Was the serpent right and God a liar; i.e., that should they eat of the fruit of the tree they would not die? Personally, I'm going to go with what God said and not the "Father of lies" (Jh 8:44). Adam died the very moment he ate of the fruit, yet he continued to live, physically. The perennial problem is that many will not accept the truth of the depth of the noetic effects of the Fall. They simply cannot bear the insult. Man is far worse than he would like to think he is. He is dead not sick, not even terminally ill, but dead. And until he is "quickened, made alive, born again", he is blind, deaf and dumb to his actual, helpless and hopeless condition.
In reply to:[color:"blue"]Jonah taught no such thing. While the price of salvation was paid solely by God, we must receive it.
Funny, my Bible in Jonah 2:9 says, "Salvation is of the LORD." What does your's say? I grant you that "salvation is [color:red]paid solely by God". The ransom has been paid in full. There is nothing more that man need contribute, add, annex, etc. to secure it. The prerequisites of repentance and faith are included in the salvation that was paid for. They are given to those for whom the redemption was made. They are NOT an "extra" which man must bring to the table to facilitate nor complete salvation.
In reply to:[color:"blue"]But as I have said before and I will double emphasize here, it is not our choice that saves us, it is God's grace.
You are once again speaking out of both sides of your mouth. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/rolleyes.gif" alt="rolleyes" title="rolleyes[/img] "Faith" is the "work of God." (Jh 6:29)
John 10:26-28 (ASV) "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. (cf. Ps 110:3)
In reply to:[color:"blue"]3. God chose to save Saul because He foreknew that Saul would humble himself and repent in the light of the God's grace.
Without a doubt, you do subscribe to a "conditional grace", which is based upon what man DOES and not even upon some ill-conceived and/or arbitrary choice in God alone. According to your statement here, which is unquestionably consistent with your soteriological synergism, God's act of "choice" is pre-conditioned upon what Saul (anyone) does. The inescapable labyrinth which this view creates has already been discussed in part, e.g., in these past messages:
And most assuredly, your erroneous view of "foreknowledge" is in total contradiction of what the Scriptures teach in regard to God choosing those whom He has determined to save from all eternity, and before they had either done good or evil (cf. Eph 1:4-11; Rom 9:11ff; et al) Of course, if we were to grant you, for the sake of argument, that your redefining of "foreknowledge" and "predestination" were correct, you are still left with an insurmountable problem. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/evilgrin.gif" alt="evilgrin" title="evilgrin[/img] For if, as you are wanting to argue, that God "foreknew", i.e., somehow observed Saul humble himself and repent, thus moving God to choose him, then to what was Saul chosen? Was he chosen to a "possibility salvation" wherein there was no sure end? Was he chosen to an infallible salvation? If the former is true, then it cannot be said that God "foreknew" anything at all. For what is it that God could possibly know until Saul had lived his entire life and made all the myriad decisions he would during that life? If the latter is true, again using your "reasoning", i.e., God's choosing included a sure end, which was Saul's eternal salvation, then every thing and decision that Saul/Paul was to make throughout his life was immutable. In short, he couldn't have chosen anything but to humble himself, repent and persevere to the end. There could be no possibility of him falling away and being damned.
You see Josh, this type of convoluted thinking only serves to confuse things all the more and the end is far worse than from where you began. It simply is nonsense! It's been tried before, found wanting and failed miserably throughout the history of the Church. Of course, the majority opinion sides with you, that I will sadly admit. Those favoring your view are Rome, most Protestant denominations and every sect and cult that has every existed on earth. In each and every case, grace has been intermixed with works; call it "conditions" if you will, but it doesn't change the reality of what it really is: "God helps those who choose to be saved" = [color:red]SYNERGISM which is the mortal enemy of Grace.... free and sovereign Grace.
First of all, concerning the Pharisees. The scripture makes it plain that they rejected God of their own accord,
Luke 7:30 says, "But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. "
So it was not hard to derive that God foreknew their rejection and did not extend His grace to them, not because He simply hated them.
Secondly, you contend that one is "born again" so that they can be saved, and cite several references. But note what 1 John 3:9 says that one who has been born of God cannot sin. Now I agree that this is speaking of living in wilful sin, but hear me out: How can a person (regardless of how 'spiritually alive' they are) live a holy life before God if they are not yet saved?
The third thing you questioned me on was how can those that are spiritually dead obey God. So do I believe that one who has a 'heart of stone' and a carnal mind can respond to the Lord's call? Absolutely. It's quite simple really, the power of God's grace. John 1 says that Christ is the light of men, for His holy light can even enlighten the deadest men and let them see the truth. John 5:25 says,
"Verily, verily, I say to unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, whn the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
So even though men are spiritually dead, they can still hear when Christ calls them. Should I think it so strange that one who can call the physically dead to life should also be able to do so with the spiritually dead? But as I pointed out with the Pharisees, God's call can be resisted by men. Yes, it is God who opens their hearts and ears, this I do not deny, but man can harden and close them again (see Hebrews 3:7).
"But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as adamant stone..." (Zechariah 7:11-12)
So yes, I do believe that repentance to life is a gift from God, and that salvation is not dependent on our will or effort, but God's mercy. This does not negate the fact that God chooses to save only those that answer His call, even though they be dead.
IRT: "For if, as you are wanting to argue, that God "foreknew", i.e., somehow observed Saul humble himself and repent, thus moving God to choose him, then to what was Saul chosen? Was he chosen to a "possibility salvation" wherein there was no sure end? Was he chosen to an infallible salvation? If the former is true, then it cannot be said that God "foreknew" anything at all. For what is it that God could possibly know until Saul had lived his entire life and made all the myriad decisions he would during that life? If the latter is true, again using your "reasoning", i.e., God's choosing included a sure end, which was Saul's eternal salvation, then every thing and decision that Saul/Paul was to make throughout his life was immutable. In short, he couldn't have chosen anything but to humble himself, repent and persevere to the end. There could be no possibility of him falling away and being damned."
There is only one kind of salvation, conditional. I do not doubt that God knows every facet of my life from beginning to end, but just because He knows my end, whether I followed Him or not, does not mean that He predetermined it.
If my line of reasoning is what has failed, then why, as I pointed out elsewhere, does Romans 11 obviously support what I say? Rome and most Protestant denominations also believe in the Trinity (I assume you do as well), United Pentacostals use this as "evidence" against all other denominations. I frankly don't care who believes what, I simply believe what is written.
Exactly right. God elects His own according to His foreknowledge.
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ..." (1 Peter 1:2)
Some mistakenly believe that God elects without regard to anything in man's life whatsoever, and indeed salvation is not of man's will or works, but of God who shows mercy. This does not negate the fact that God requires that we receive and continue in His grace.
"And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." (Acts 2:40)
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (1 Timothy 4:16)
Of course this does not mean we save ourselves as in purchasing our salvation, that was done on the cross. This is simply saying that the only way to be saved is to continue in Christ, who is our salvation. Good examples of this are in John 15:1-8 and Romans 11:18-22.