In reply to:[color:"blue"]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)
You continue to use terms, e.g., "foreknowledge" in an unbiblical fashion. I have challenged you on several occasions to give evidence that "foreknowledge", according to your use of the term, means "prescience", i.e., "knowledge of raw facts beforehand" and that only. Clearly, this mitigates against the very definition of Deity. There are several fundamental questions which need answering on your part if you are going to espouse this erroneous view, which seems to be the undergirding of your position. Some of these questions are:[*]Where is the origin of these "raw facts" which God foresaw and upon which He determined (if you are even able to affirm that God does or can infallibly determine anything? If they occurred outside of Himself, how does this square with His Omnipresence?[*]If there are "raw facts" which God must perceive which He has not preordained, then how does this square with His attribute of Omniscience? For your definition would imply that there are some "raw facts" which were unknown unto God at some point.[*]If after perceiving what men will do (again where are these men that He sees?) He then determines what will be (a self-contradictory statement), how does this square with His Omnipotence? For God would then be the Sovereign Who determines all things, but only one who simply iterates what has already happened due to the "free-will" decisions of men.[*]And again I ask, if God foresees that a man has already made a particular choice concerning something and consequently, on the basis of what God has foreseen, does this not destroy your doctrine of free-will? For when this act takes place temporally, is not this same man theoretically able to not choose that which was foreseen, if one believes as you do, that man is not forced in making decisions? Could he not just as freely choose that which was contrary to what foresaw?[*]How does the biblical reality of prophesy exist and square with your view of "foreknowledge" and "free-will"? How is it possible in your indeterministic theology that anything is certainly fixed, immutable and will infallibly take place in all its details?[/LIST]
In reply to:[color:"blue"]If my line of reasoning is what has failed, then why, as I pointed out elsewhere, does Romans 11 obviously support what I say?
You never have made a case from Romans 11 to justify your view. A right consideration of CONTEXT is essential if one is to rightly understand the Scriptures. Let's look at a few passages from Romans 11:
Romans 11:1-6 (ASV) "I say then, Did God cast off his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God did not cast off his people which he foreknew. Or know ye not what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he pleadeth with God against Israel: Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. [color:red]But if it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.
Paul first makes the point that although the vast majority of God's covenant people, the Jews have been cut off and stand as enemies against God, the LORD has kept a "remnant" for Himself who He foreknew i.e., (those whom He had foreloved and determined to save by the election of grace). That which made the believing Jew differ from the unbelieving Jew was God's electing grace and NOT anything concerning them individually. For to the one, grace was given which upheld them while the remainder were not given grace, according to God's election. This election, Paul had already established was UNconditional. (cf. Rom 9:11ff).
Romans 11:19-21 (ASV) Thou wilt say then, Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; by their [color:red]unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by thy faith. Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, neither will he spare thee.
Here, Paul addresses the Gentiles at Rome and admonishes them to not be haughty nor presumptuous about their alleged standing before God. There were those within the covenant community of Israel who presumed to be right with God due to their national heritage and tradition. They thought that because they were Jews, God was their portion while all others were under God's wrath and judgment. But surely the biblical record shows that the vast majority of Jews fell under God's righteous anger and were rejected for their sins and unbelief. Neither nationality, nor ecclesiastical affiliation has any influence upon one's salvation as Paul states elsewhere:
Romans 9:6-8 (ASV) "But [it is] not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel: neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed."
In Romans 11, Paul is simply iterating what he had already established before and further establishes that it is God's sovereign right and mercy which saves and nothing else. But I would have you notice that Paul says that the Jews were broken off due to their unbelief; i.e., they never believed but were self-deceived with their Jewishness in thinking that all was right with their soul. He is making the point that the Gentiles were standing by their faith which is of grace, a gift of God and therefore there is no room for boasting over those Jews who had been cut off. Pride always precedes the fall, and such pride is inconsistent with grace. Thus, the admonition is to beware of your prideful attitude for it could indicate that you are in the same precarious position as those who were cut off; without true faith and thus under God's condemnation and possible rejection.
There is nothing in Romans 11 that teaches that a true believer can be cut off for not persevering in the faith. But to the contrary, the text shows that there is a remnant who has been saved infallibly by grace and who has persevered in that faith while others who were guilty of presuming their salvation were ultimately lost. No one is denying the "conditionality" of salvation, i.e., that man is responsible to believe. God doesn't believe for anyone. Faith is given by grace (Eph 2:8 , 9). And true faith always seeks that which it is designed for; Christ. BOTH man's responsibility and God's sovereignty are upheld in the doctrines of grace.
In our discussion of John 8, I had challenged you to demonstrate me from the Text where it stated that God specifically withheld his grace form the Pharisees because he “he knew in advance that that they would reject him”.
You responded with:
In reply to:[color:"blue"] 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.
Brother JoshT, That’s not an answer to my question. Please prove me from the text again where it says that God withheld his grace from them because He knew in advance that they would reject him[I have not used the word ‘foreknew’ for you are not using it biblically, as been demonstrated repeatedly by Pilgrim]. Not only that, but I did not deny that The Pharisees did indeed reject god as their choice. In fact, I said that all men in the natural state reject God (i.e. 1 cor 2:14,Roms 8:6-7,Eph 2:1-3, Romans 1:18-3:20,and many other passages that have been quoted to you). My argument is that if God looked down the corridor of time[using your position] He would see all men rejecting him. Quoting Luke 7:30 does not answer my question. What you said is Eisogesis. Prove otherwise. How did you get from John 8 and Luke 7:30 that “God foreknew their rejection and did not extend His grace to them”? I have yet to see you do any kind of EXEGESIS. With that kind of eisogesis I can basically prove just about anything from the scriptures. The fact of the matter is ROMANS 9 says that God Calls because of His own Pleasure not with regard to ANYTHING Jacob and Esau did.
In reply to:[color:"blue"]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?
You misunderstand me. I’m sorry if I was not clear. But I said that those are born gain, or literally “from Above” sovereignly by the Holy Spirit ( i.e. John 3), will necessarily believe and thus be saved. I said that they are not separated, but two distinct things. I treat Regeneration(Mongergistic work of God alone) and Conversion(repentance, belief by the regenerate) as two distinct things, but the former effectually and without fail leads to the latter. As proven by Romans 8:30:” these whom He called, He also justified”. Regeneration gives the Dead elect sinner Spiritual Life and will effectually cause him/her to come to Christ( i.e. John 6:37,44,65,etc). They will excercise faith in Christ,and thus be justified and also bear other fruits. Please let me know if I misunderstood your question. In addition, I see no response to my ‘cited references.’
In reply to:[color:"blue"] 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, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
first, what do you mean by “the deadest men”? Yes, it is the Power of God, but the POWER of GOD ALONE. To be “DEAD” means to be UNRESPONSIVE to spiritual Things until, as you said, they “hear when Christ Calls them”. Brother Josht T, this is what I have been saying : That Christ Effectually Calls the Elect. The Elect do in fact hear when called. His Sheep Respond to his voice(i.e. John 10). Those who are not his sheep do not. John 5:25 does not help you, It only strengthens our case . Jesus is talking about 2 RESURRECTIONS in this context. The one at the End of the AGE and the one that happens to Elect men/women Now. It demonstrates an EFFECTUAL call. Note that They ”SHALL hear”.. and those that Hear WILL come to life. It’s certain to happen.
In reply to:[color:"blue"] 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?
However, it is the Elect that will hear (which was my original statement in this thread). God does indeed RAISE the spiritual dead to Life (i.e. Eph 2:1-10) through the EFFECTUALL Calling that is spoken in this text[john 5] . Those whom He called according to his purpose...Whom He foreknew(elected, foreloved).. He predestined...These He called...these He justified...These He glorified...(Romans 8:22-30 etc.). Though you say the statements above, you in fact deny it with your other statements. The dead Hear as result of the internall calling of God as in john 5:25, Acts 16:14-15.
In reply to:[color:"blue"] 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)
I sound like a broken record, but God’s effectual call never fails(“All that the Father Gives me, WILL Come to me John 6:37.).I figure if say enough times it will eventually sink into your mind. I am not denying that people resist God’s grace(see the parable of the soil). The Gospel Call goes out to many. However only the elect respond. I am saying that All those HE CALLED[effectually]...THESE HE JUSTIFED[Romans 8:30]...You have yet to refute this passage . Note Hebrews 3 is not the same as in John 5:25. The Language here says “IF YOU WILL hear His voice “. This does not give you the latitude to come with conclusion that men can harden their after hearts after being effectually called . There is no effectual calling in this context. Please prove it you think it does. And what are you trying to prove with Zecha 7:11-12 especially in light of it’s context?? I think you fail to disntiguish between the gospel call,which is external, and the effectual call, the internal work of God on the elect.
In reply to:[color:"blue"] 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.
This seems like doubletalk to me. Thus, I go back to my original question, Who are those will Hear His CALL? That is what you are missing : the EFFECTUAL call is what ‘Quickens’, ’Resurrects’, ‘Makes Alive’, ‘opens the heart’ of the Elect sinner and thus draw him/her to Believe in Christ (John 6:37-45). The sinner “CANNOT” produce any fruit, which includes faith, unless his nature is changed; His old nature needs more than just an aid; thus my argument that regeneration/calling precedes faith(i.e. Romans 8:30). This happens to the ELECT only.
The difference comes down to this. You believe, as do Roman Catholics, the unbiblical notion of Synergism and I believe in the biblical teaching of Monergism.
In Christ, Carlos
"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Dear Josh, It is clear that the men on this board are doing an excellent job of showing, or at least trying, to show you the truth of the scriptures concerning the doctrine of salvation. I realize from your posts that you have no understanding nor believe in the doctrine of total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistable grace, nor perseverance of the saints.
You must believe that man is not totally depraved nor would you even consider that he could, of his own Free Will choose a Holy God. It seems you have rejected the doctrine of unconditional election since you perceive that God elected some on the basis of THEIR faith; surely you must think their are some in hell for which Christ shed His precious blood simply by rejecting His grace. And this leads to even more error believing that man can Resist a Sovereign God and His grace!!! My, it is no wonder that you believe also that man can lose his salvation! No wonder!
What exactly do you base you salvation on? You faith? Have you not read that this too is a gift? How can a dead man do anything, unless he be "born again", made alive unto Christ.
What you may not realize is this doctrine of yours is a very dangerous thing. You give to man that glory that only God deserves. Do you not know that Adam, and thus all posterity, DIED, they just didn't get sick!
I will pray for you Joshua. I don't mean that condescendingly, but sorrowfully. You seem to fight so strongly for those doctrines that in no way glorify the KING.
Go back and sincerely seek the favor of Christ and His wisdom. Ask that He teach you the gospel that was once delivered to the saints. As I said before, the doctrine of election led men to try and throw Christ over the cliff. And many left Him and walked no more with Him..........don't be one of them.