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  • Calvinism and Reformed Theology

    TULIP of Calvinism and Reformed Theology
    http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/

    The five points of Calvinism from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College.


    The five points are as follows (TULIP):

    T Total Depravity (Total Inability)
    Total Depravity is probably the most misunderstood tenet of Calvinism. When Calvinists speak of humans as "totally depraved," they are making an extensive, rather than an intensive statement. The effect of the fall upon man is that sin has extended to every part of his personality -- his thinking, his emotions, and his will. Not necessarily that he is intensely sinful, but that sin has extended to his entire being.
    The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f). This is why Total Depravity has also been called "Total Inability." The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God's making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).


    U Unconditional Election

    Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-8).
    This doctrine does not rule out, however, man's responsibility to believe in the redeeming work of God the Son (John 3:16-18). Scripture presents a tension between God's sovereignty in salvation, and man's responsibility to believe which it does not try to resolve. Both are true -- to deny man's responsibility is to affirm an unbiblical hyper-calvinism; to deny God's sovereignty is to affirm an unbiblical Arminianism.
    The elect are saved unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). Thus, though good works will never bridge the gulf between man and God that was formed in the Fall, good works are a result of God's saving grace. This is what Peter means when he admonishes the Christian reader to make his "calling" and "election" sure (2 Peter 1:10). Bearing the fruit of good works is an indication that God has sown seeds of grace in fertile soil.


    L Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)

    Limited Atonement is a doctrine offered in answer to the question, "for whose sins did Christ atone?" The Bible teaches that Christ died for those whom God gave him to save (John 17:9). Christ died, indeed, for many people, but not all (Matthew 26:28). Specifically, Christ died for the invisible Church -- the sum total of all those who would ever rightly bear the name "Christian" (Ephesians 5:25).
    This doctrine often finds many objections, mostly from those who think that Limited Atonement does damage to evangelism. We have already seen that Christ will not lose any that the father has given to him (John 6:37). Christ's death was not a death of potential atonement for all people. Believing that Jesus' death was a potential, symbolic atonement for anyone who might possibly, in the future, accept him trivializes Christ's act of atonement. Christ died to atone for specific sins of specific sinners. Christ died to make holy the church. He did not atone for all men, because obviously all men are not saved. Evangelism is actually lifted up in this doctrine, for the evangelist may tell his congregation that Christ died for sinners, and that he will not lose any of those for whom he died!


    I Irresistible Grace

    The result of God's Irresistible Grace is the certain response by the elect to the inward call of the Holy Spirit, when the outward call is given by the evangelist or minister of the Word of God. Christ, himself, teaches that all whom God has elected will come to a knowledge of him (John 6:37). Men come to Christ in salvation when the Father calls them (John 6:44), and the very Spirit of God leads God's beloved to repentance (Romans 8:14). What a comfort it is to know that the gospel of Christ will penetrate our hard, sinful hearts and wondrously save us through the gracious inward call of the Holy Spirit (I Peter 5:10)!


    P Perseverance of the Saints

    Perseverance of the Saints is a doctrine which states that the saints (those whom God has saved) will remain in God's hand until they are glorified and brought to abide with him in heaven. Romans 8:28-39 makes it clear that when a person truly has been regenerated by God, he will remain in God's stead. The work of sanctification which God has brought about in his elect will continue until it reaches its fulfillment in eternal life (Phil. 1:6). Christ assures the elect that he will not lose them and that they will be glorified at the "last day" (John 6:39). The Calvinist stands upon the Word of God and trusts in Christ's promise that he will perfectly fulfill the will of the Father in saving all the elect.
    Last edited by glen smith; March 28, 2017, 10:34 PM. Reason: correct placement of headings

  • #2
    Originally posted by glen smith View Post
    TULIP of Calvinism and Reformed Theology
    http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/

    The five points of Calvinism from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College.

    The five points are as follows (TULIP):

    T Total Depravity (Total Inability)
    Total Depravity is probably the most misunderstood tenet of Calvinism. When Calvinists speak of humans as "totally depraved," they are making an extensive, rather than an intensive statement. The effect of the fall upon man is that sin has extended to every part of his personality -- his thinking, his emotions, and his will. Not necessarily that he is intensely sinful, but that sin has extended to his entire being.
    The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f). This is why Total Depravity has also been called "Total Inability." The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God's making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5). U Unconditional Election

    Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-8).
    This doctrine does not rule out, however, man's responsibility to believe in the redeeming work of God the Son (John 3:16-18). Scripture presents a tension between God's sovereignty in salvation, and man's responsibility to believe which it does not try to resolve. Both are true -- to deny man's responsibility is to affirm an unbiblical hyper-calvinism; to deny God's sovereignty is to affirm an unbiblical Arminianism.
    The elect are saved unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). Thus, though good works will never bridge the gulf between man and God that was formed in the Fall, good works are a result of God's saving grace. This is what Peter means when he admonishes the Christian reader to make his "calling" and "election" sure (2 Peter 1:10). Bearing the fruit of good works is an indication that God has sown seeds of grace in fertile soil. L Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)

    Limited Atonement is a doctrine offered in answer to the question, "for whose sins did Christ atone?" The Bible teaches that Christ died for those whom God gave him to save (John 17:9). Christ died, indeed, for many people, but not all (Matthew 26:28). Specifically, Christ died for the invisible Church -- the sum total of all those who would ever rightly bear the name "Christian" (Ephesians 5:25).
    This doctrine often finds many objections, mostly from those who think that Limited Atonement does damage to evangelism. We have already seen that Christ will not lose any that the father has given to him (John 6:37). Christ's death was not a death of potential atonement for all people. Believing that Jesus' death was a potential, symbolic atonement for anyone who might possibly, in the future, accept him trivializes Christ's act of atonement. Christ died to atone for specific sins of specific sinners. Christ died to make holy the church. He did not atone for all men, because obviously all men are not saved. Evangelism is actually lifted up in this doctrine, for the evangelist may tell his congregation that Christ died for sinners, and that he will not lose any of those for whom he died! I Irresistible Grace

    The result of God's Irresistible Grace is the certain response by the elect to the inward call of the Holy Spirit, when the outward call is given by the evangelist or minister of the Word of God. Christ, himself, teaches that all whom God has elected will come to a knowledge of him (John 6:37). Men come to Christ in salvation when the Father calls them (John 6:44), and the very Spirit of God leads God's beloved to repentance (Romans 8:14). What a comfort it is to know that the gospel of Christ will penetrate our hard, sinful hearts and wondrously save us through the gracious inward call of the Holy Spirit (I Peter 5:10)! P Perseverance of the Saints

    Perseverance of the Saints is a doctrine which states that the saints (those whom God has saved) will remain in God's hand until they are glorified and brought to abide with him in heaven. Romans 8:28-39 makes it clear that when a person truly has been regenerated by God, he will remain in God's stead. The work of sanctification which God has brought about in his elect will continue until it reaches its fulfillment in eternal life (Phil. 1:6). Christ assures the elect that he will not lose them and that they will be glorified at the "last day" (John 6:39). The Calvinist stands upon the Word of God and trusts in Christ's promise that he will perfectly fulfill the will of the Father in saving all the elect.
    Thanks Glen,

    I do not agree with either Calvinism or Arminianism. I do not see that either agree with all of scripture.

    I do admit that for me to agree with all of scripture means that my position is far beyond my ability to see the logic in it.

    But I have decided long ago to stand with the scriptures even if that means that they are far beyond my ability to reason.

    Yes there are things that I have to do to be saved - but it is totally by grace that I do them and I get no credit for doing any of them, even one of them.

    Also some claim that if the elect are chosen by no good of their own, then God would be unfair. I also believe that God is totally merciful and just in every act that He does. He never acts with justice without mercy and He never acts with mercy without being just.

    Someone may ask, then why are you saved and not this other man - I do not know why I am saved, except totally by grace and yet God is not unfair because some are not saved. I am fully aware that this is beyond reason, or at least beyond my ability to reason.

    But I do know that the scriptures tell me that I am saved TOTALLY by grace and grace alone. There was no good within me and I am totally sinful. The only good within me, is His Holy Spirit.

    Yet I also know that The Lord tells me that I have to confess my sins, but I do this by grace and not of myself.

    Yet God is just and not unfair.

    Someone may then say, well if you were chosen then there was some reason you are chosen. There is no good within me to give God a reason to chose me.

    I agree with you that if a man truly jumps out of the boat then he never gave His life to the Lord in the first place, but only appeared to men to do so. But God judges the heart and knows who His children are.

    I do not think we are that far apart on this issue. I did not mean to offend you in any way.

    But on one hand I believe that Jesus will keep me in His hand. Someone may then say that I will be complacent. True, I am guilty of any sin one wants to accuse me of, including that one. BUT I do not serve Him out of fear, but out of love for what He did for me and continues to do for me.

    I do not serve Him to gain favor, or to do good, I only serve Him to obey ( totally by His grace) and somehow maybe please him in some small way. Even though anything I do will be tainted with self serving sinfulness.

    Even though I believe this, will I sometime act in fear that I am lost. Of course, The Lord then has to comfort me with His love and tell me that I am His all over again. That is not all bad.

    I also believe The Lord was able to reveal one of the mysteries that I seen.

    1 John 1

    5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

    I have to walk in the light as Jesus is in the light. BUT I am a liar and my heart is beyond my even knowing the blackness that is in it.

    How can I walk in the light as He is in the light. Jesus is The Truth. I am a liar.

    I am a total lair. How can I ever tell the truth to walk in the light as Jesus is in the light ?

    There is but one way that I can see.

    When a lair admits he is a total liar, then he is telling the total truth. He just stepped into the light.

    As soon as he thinks he is no longer that total liar, then he just stepped out of the light.

    But I did this by grace and grace alone.
    Last edited by Lou Newton; March 28, 2017, 10:36 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Often those who hold to Calvinism/reformed theology claim they are misrepresented by their critics. This is both a true and false accusation depending on whose reformed theology is being critiqued and who is doing the critiquing. In some cases the critics are right when speaking about individuals or groups and in other cases the Calvinist are right in that the critics misrepresent their doctrines. Much of the claim that Calvinism is misrepresented stems from critics drawing the logical conclusion to their doctrines. Some think the logical conclusions are valid and others do not. Also, many hold to only part of the reformed theology. When they do this it usually results in their holding contradictory beliefs. I have done this and sometimes still do because much of reformed theology matches with explanation of my personal experience. Maybe the best example of this is that I feel very much elected unconditionally and that His Grace was irresistible. However, how I feel is not how the Bible should be interpreted. There are many sites that criticize Calvinism. Just search Calvinism refuted. Here is a site that is blatantly critical. http://www.bible.ca/calvinism.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        Perseverance of the Saints is often termed "Once saved always saved." This is the resulting outcome of the saved in Calvinism, but it should not be taken that after once confessing Christ, being baptized, and joining the church only to stop acting like a Christian years afterward translates into still being saved. Calvinist would say the backslider was never saved. This still saved while being a "backslider" uses unconditional election as proof that the dearly departed is now in heaven. If the sinner didn't do anything to be saved, he can't do anything to become lost. The Baptist are notorious in their evangelism of offering "whosoever will may come" for an eternal salvation because grace is received without merit, and it cannot be lost because of lack of merit. This is a good deal for those who want to sin all the more so that grace may abound. It is also the impetuous for the Lordship salvation teaching to counter cheap grace.
        Last edited by glen smith; March 28, 2017, 10:54 PM. Reason: added comment

        Comment


        • #5
          Arminianism stands in contrast to Calvinism

          https://www.theopedia.com/arminianism

          Arminianism is a school of theology based on the teachings of Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius, for whom it is named. It is perhaps most prominent in the Methodist movement and found in various other evangelical circles today. It stands in contrast to Calvinism, with which it has a long history of debate. Arminians as well as Calvinists appeal to various Scriptures and the early church fathers to support their respective views, however the differences remain particularly as related to the sovereignty of God in salvation and the ideas of election and predestination. Arminian theology

          The Arminian party suggested five anti-Calvinist corrections, articulated in the Five articles of Remonstrance of 1610, which gave rise to the historic controversy and are summarized as follows:

          Universal prevenient grace

          This grace purportedly restores man's free will which was impaired by the effects of original sin and enables him to choose or refuse the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ. Some would say that freedom of will is man's natural state, not a spiritual gift and thus free will was not lost in the Fall, but cannot be exercised toward good apart from the grace of God. In either case, God's universal prevenient grace works upon all alike to influence them for good, but only those who freely choose to cooperate with grace through faith and repentance are given new spiritual power to make effectual the good they otherwise impotently intend. As John Wesley stated more forcefully, humans were in fact totally corrupted by original sin, but God's prevenient grace allowed free will to operate. Universal prevenient grace is the "hair's breadth" that separates Wesley from the Calvinist view of total depravity.
          _See main articles: Universal prevenient grace, John 12:32_

          Conditional election

          This point holds that man is the final arbiter of his election, and that God elects him on the basis of foreseen faith which is exercised by libertarian free will, thus making man ultimately decisive.
          God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ, out of fallen and sinful mankind, those foreknown by Him who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in Christ; but God leaves in sin those foreseen, who are incorrigible and unbelieving. This is in contrast to the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election.
          _See main articles: Election and Foreknowledge of God_

          Unlimited (or universal) atonement

          Christ's death was suffered on behalf of all men and benefits all men alike. God then elects for salvation those whom he foresees will believe in Christ of their own free will. This is in contrast to the Calvinist doctrine of Limited atonement.
          Arminians believe that whatever the atonement accomplished, it did so universally for all alike, not just the elect. This point rejects that the atonement has any component which is decisive or effectual in gathering of the elect. Rather, the atonement is seen as a universally effective propitiation and the basis for a universal offer of salvation. The key verse used for this position is 1 John 2:2.
          _See main articles: Universal atonement and Atonement of Christ_

          Resistible grace

          This point holds that God never overcomes the resistance of man to His saving grace. While both Calvinists and Arminians hold that men often resist God's grace, Arminianism teaches that this resistance is rarely conquered by God because this would be a violation of man's libertarian free will. The grace of God works for good in all men, and brings about newness of life through faith. But saving grace can be resisted, even by the regenerate. This is in contrast to the Calvinist doctrine of Irresistible grace.
          _See main article: Irresistible grace_

          Uncertainty of perseverance

          Those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith have power given them through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit, sufficient to enable them to persevere in the faith. However, it may be possible for a believer to fall from grace. This is in contrast to the Calvinist's Perseverance of the saints.
          _See main articles: Perseverance of the saints and Assurance of salvation_ Not all Arminians have historically embraced this fifth point as stated. Some have embraced a form of eternal security which does not require perseverance in the faith and an attitude of repentance for final salvation. The majority of Arminians, regardless of their position on this point, still affirm that man retains libertarian free will throughout the entirety of earthly life.
          The following are also distinctive doctrines and emphases of Arminianism:

          Libertarian free will

          A key tenet of Arminianism is libertarian free will. This means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. All "free will theists" hold that libertarian freedom is essential for moral responsibility, for if our choice is determined or caused by anything, including our own desires, they reason, it cannot properly be called a free choice.
          _See main article: Libertarian free will_

          Equal, impartial, and undifferentiated love

          Arminianism emphasizes God's equal, impartial, and undifferentiated love for all individuals and denies that God has any sort of electing, particular love that secures one's redemption from the foundation of the world. It infers from this universal love that God would never predestine anyone to hell or hate anyone without reference to their wickedness.
          _See main articles: John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-6, Romans 9:13, Love of God_

          The universal call of salvation

          Arminians hold that God calls all people to Himself through Christ, whether or not this call is effectual depends upon the individuals libertarian free will.

          History

          Arminianism, as mentioned above, is based on the theology of Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560-1609). His opposition to some of the teachings of the Belgic Confession was formalized into five articles of Remonstrance published by his followers in 1610, on the heels of his death. This Remonstrance was the basis for formal debates in the Reformed churches and resulted in the national Synod of Dort (1618-1619) where Arminianism was condemned by the State church. Arminian theology later received official toleration by the State and has since continued in various forms within Protestantism.

          John Wesley later adopted Arminianism and it has become the theological position of Methodism and the Wesleyan tradition. It was propagated in America through the revivalism of the Second Great Awakening and the burgeoning Methodist movement. It is also found today in other denominations such as the Nazarene, the Pentecostal, the Assemblies of God, the Churches of Christ, the Seventh-day Adventist and many Baptist groups. Elements of Arminianism (or its older sister Semi-Pelagianism) may also be found in Roman Catholicism. "Moderate Arminianism" or "moderate Calvinism"

          In Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free, Geisler describes popular Arminianism as "moderate Calvinism" (also called "moderate Arminianism"), because it holds to the perseverance of the saints. This is a confusing and misleading label, however, as Arminianism has not historically been settled against this point. Arminians have held a variety of positions on the certainty/uncertainty of perseverance, and being "Arminian" doesn't necessarily imply that one holds to the uncertainty of perseverance.
          Those who hold to Geisler's categorization sometimes also consider belief in the five points of Calvinism to be hyper-Calvinistic. ^[1]^

          Quotes
          • "The providence of God is subordinate to creation; and it is, therefore, necessary that it should not impinge against creation, which it would do, were it to inhibit or hinder the use of free will in man." The Works of James Arminius, Vol. 2, p. 460
          • "God decreed to save and damn certain particular persons. This decree has its foundation in the foreknowledge of God, by which he knew from all eternity those individuals who would, through his preventing [going before] grace, believe, and, through his subsequent grace would persevere . . . by which foreknowledge, he likewise knew those who would not believe and persevere." The Works of James Arminius, Vol 1, p. 248



          Notes
          1. "Q: How do you define hyper Calvinist? A: If a person holds to reprobation, this is a clear sign. If anyone believes that God has created souls damned to hell, and predestined them to hell, then they would be a poster child for Hyper Calvinism." - Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Theological Seminary. URL: http://www.erguncaner.com/site/?p=138. Also see Caner's sermon, "Predestined not to be a Hyper Calvinist". URL: http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/libe...060409p_hi.wvx



          Resources


          Affirming


          Critical


          See also


          External links

          Informational


          Favorable


          Critical
          Last edited by glen smith; March 28, 2017, 11:13 PM. Reason: align headings

          Comment


          • #6
            I cannot understand Romans 9 from an open theism (free will) perspective. I tried and tried, then gave up. Romans 9 stands as a mountain against the arguments for free will. The chapters surrounding Romans 9 strengthen it. A natural man is in rebellion. The Holy Spirit is not in him, all he has is the flesh. How can such a creature choose that which is good? Can such a creature know how? Paul says no.

            It seems that free will is misunderstood, or overrated.

            Satan takes the unregenerate at will. That is not free.

            The natural man always does what he desires. He obeys the law in his members. That is not free. But we proclaim it is, because we are "free" to satisfy every desire.

            Open theism claims the flesh is free to choose Christ. There are many problems with this view of free will.
            Last edited by Baruch; March 29, 2017, 04:36 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
              Also some claim that if the elect are chosen by no good of their own, then God would be unfair. I also believe that God is totally merciful and just in every act that He does. He never acts with justice without mercy and He never acts with mercy without being just.

              Someone may ask, then why are you saved and not this other man - I do not know why I am saved, except totally by grace and yet God is not unfair because some are not saved. I am fully aware that this is beyond reason, or at least beyond my ability to reason.
              It is getting late and these are long posts. I'll pick this one out of your comment, Lou, because it jogged my elbow.

              This is a common complaint about election, that it's not fair. One might take a step back and ask: do we really want God to be fair? Is that another way of asking for justice? If we all got justice, it would be everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. You have said this, so I know you believe it.

              It is not fair that He chose to give His beloved Son to cover our transgressions. It is the greatest gift. If it were fair, it would not be a gift, rather a quid pro quo, as if we had something of value to offer. Scripture makes it clear we are debtors who have nothing to offer for our very lives.

              Glen wrote in the Joseph post that the brothers of Joseph were chosen by no good of their own, but on account of the promise made by YHWH to Abraham. God made that covenant with Himself. Recall He put Abraham to sleep and walked between the halves Himself. This is how He made Abraham His friend, by the free gift of grace.

              Man is incapable of keeping his covenants. It requires perfection, and a power of persistence we do not possess. We are so inept, yet we claim to be able to choose Christ.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Baruch View Post

                It is getting late and these are long posts. I'll pick this one out of your comment, Lou, because it jogged my elbow.

                This is a common complaint about election, that it's not fair. One might take a step back and ask: do we really want God to be fair? Is that another way of asking for justice? If we all got justice, it would be everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. You have said this, so I know you believe it.

                It is not fair that He chose to give His beloved Son to cover our transgressions. It is the greatest gift. If it were fair, it would not be a gift, rather a quid pro quo, as if we had something of value to offer. Scripture makes it clear we are debtors who have nothing to offer for our very lives.

                Glen wrote in the Joseph post that the brothers of Joseph were chosen by no good of their own, but on account of the promise made by YHWH to Abraham. God made that covenant with Himself. Recall He put Abraham to sleep and walked between the halves Himself. This is how He made Abraham His friend, by the free gift of grace.

                Man is incapable of keeping his covenants. It requires perfection, and a power of persistence we do not possess. We are so inept, yet we claim to be able to choose Christ.
                Very outstanding thought provoking post Barry. I also see that you too have joined the night shift. I hope your elbow is OK.

                You are correct in all you say, but God is merciful and just in every act that He does. God never chooses between mercy and justice, but is always merciful and just in His every act.

                I stand in the dock accused of sin that makes me worthy of eternal hell.

                Satan is my accuser.

                The Lord Jesus is my defense attorney, that should cause hope to enter the scene by seeing Him.

                The Lord Jesus plays a scene of the day He was crucified. The lies told, the beatings and mocking, the cross and his death.

                The Lord then shows me confessing my sin and trusting in what Christ did for the payment of my sin.

                The Lord then asks, who can say that Lou's sin is not fully paid for and justice is fully served.

                There is silence in the courtroom, even Satan is silenced.

                The Judge, Jesus, then pronounces me not guilty on account that my sin has been fully paid for and I have been proclaimed not guilty on account of that payment and the fact that I trusted in that payment for my sin.

                I am led out into the streets full of saints cheering at my release and my freedom. The cheer is not for me, but for the ONE who paid for my sin and theirs.

                God is merciful and just in His every act.

                He never chooses between mercy and justice, but is always merciful and just:

                1 John 1
                Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness

                5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

                8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

                How unjust it would be to allow Satan to take one person to hell who has trusted in the payment that Jesus made on the cross for his sins.

                For certainly what the Righteous One did paid for all sin that is truly confessed.

                Satan is silenced totally, even the Accuser can say nothing. For he knows he is the very one who inspired the leaders of the Jews to demand that Jesus be crucified on the cross. Justice ? - Satan brought about his own defeat.

                Lou Newton




                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
                  You are correct in all you say, but God is merciful and just in every act that He does. God never chooses between mercy and justice, but is always merciful and just in His every act.
                  My elbow is well, Lou. Thanks for inquiring. But apparently it still keeps me up at night. :D

                  I enjoyed your post and agree. However, I didn't write or intend to suggest that God is not merciful and just.

                  God justly condemns sinners because they love their sin, though they are convicted of it. God justly forgives our debt on Christ's account, according to the ordained terms.

                  God mercifully condemns sinners because unrestrained evil destroys all that is good. God mercifully forgives sinners on Christ's account, according to the ordained terms.

                  Justice is a legal equity (merited reward, you get what you deserve). Mercy is inequity (unmerited reward, you do not get what you deserve). In a critical sense, mercy has no meaning outside the frame of justice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Baruch View Post
                    I cannot understand Romans 9 from an open theism (free will) perspective. I tried and tried, then gave up. Romans 9 stands as a mountain against the arguments for free will. The chapters surrounding Romans 9 strengthen it. A natural man is in rebellion. The Holy Spirit is not in him, all he has is the flesh. How can such a creature choose that which is good? Can such a creature know how? Paul says no.

                    It seems that free will is misunderstood, or overrated.

                    Satan takes the unregenerate at will. That is not free.

                    The natural man always does what he desires. He obeys the law in his members. That is not free. But we proclaim it is, because we are "free" to satisfy every desire.

                    Open theism claims the flesh is free to choose Christ. There are many problems with this view of free will.
                    Starting with Romans 8 to help understand chapter 9, the apparent understanding for most is as yours. This is one of the reasons many believers accept a portion of TULIP but continue with the contradictory idea of free will without embracing all the elements of open theism.

                    The very best interpretations countering what is the obvious interpretation for most will start with the verses from the entire Bible about free will. The contrasting views are weighed to determine how valid each interpretation is. Once and if, free will is determined to be biblical, then an alternative interpretation for Romans is possible. It is just a process of overcoming first assumptions.

                    I will find some acceptable presentations and post their sites. As I understand open theism, the idea originated as an explanation for natural disasters, illnesses, and evil where the LORD would not be the cause.
                    Last edited by glen smith; March 29, 2017, 04:07 PM. Reason: punctuation and form

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                    • #11
                      Baruch your comments on fairness sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes. I daily express God not being fair to me and mine by saying, "I got better than I deserve!" In the wrath of the LORD we must observe His mercy. Wherein is the greater wrath: Is it when the LORD send basins of wrath or when He leaves us to our own devices? If I am displeasing to the LORD may He strike me because His mercy may follow! I do not want fairness or grace unless one of them allows communion.

                      Ok Lou, I do like your courtroom analogy. Many commentaries use similar ones, but if you get to use the courtroom, I get to use the ship from New York to South Hampton.

                      More on the courtroom analogy. I see that elements of the courtroom analogy illustrate atonement. First time I heard it, I was amazed. Overtime, the analogy seems wrong to me for the final judgment. It is not that I interpret, as do the Seventh Day Adventist, where the judgment is prior to the second coming, but I have difficulty in seeing the Throne Room as a courtroom. If you have ever been there in the spirit (the Throne Room), it is nothing like a courtroom! It doesn't seem to fit. I've never taken the time to concentrate about this but I wish you would.

                      Points about which I have misgivings.
                      1. Is there a prosecutor? Was not that satan doings?
                      2. Atonement was at the Cross and not at the judgment. The names are already recorded in the Book of Life. As a believer I am a new creature who has already experienced the first resurrection - therefore, waiting on the reward for good works.
                      3. Perhaps divine judgment is our first glimpse of the Almighty LORD where the whole process is over in a moment. It might be that the lightening seen from the east to the west is the duration of the final judgment.
                      4. The Throne Room is Holy God. The temple has the annual cleansing on the Day of Atonement. There never are any sinners in the Throne Room - just the atonement in the blood is in the Holy of Holies.
                      5. Maybe the final judgment is not in the Throne Room of the LORD? Is the white throne judgment is elsewhere?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Baruch View Post

                        My elbow is well, Lou. Thanks for inquiring. But apparently it still keeps me up at night. :D

                        I enjoyed your post and agree. However, I didn't write or intend to suggest that God is not merciful and just.

                        God justly condemns sinners because they love their sin, though they are convicted of it. God justly forgives our debt on Christ's account, according to the ordained terms.

                        God mercifully condemns sinners because unrestrained evil destroys all that is good. God mercifully forgives sinners on Christ's account, according to the ordained terms.

                        Justice is a legal equity (merited reward, you get what you deserve). Mercy is inequity (unmerited reward, you do not get what you deserve). In a critical sense, mercy has no meaning outside the frame of justice.
                        Barry, I am thankful to hear your elbow is well. I did not mean to imply that you were saying that God is not merciful and just; but just writing the thoughts that your post inspired.

                        And yes, we are given a choice, to love our sin and continue in it, or hate our sin and confess it as sin.

                        Those that love their sin will not turn from it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by glen smith View Post
                          Baruch your comments on fairness sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes. I daily express God not being fair to me and mine by saying, "I got better than I deserve!" In the wrath of the LORD we must observe His mercy. Wherein is the greater wrath: Is it when the LORD send basins of wrath or when He leaves us to our own devices? If I am displeasing to the LORD may He strike me because His mercy may follow! I do not want fairness or grace unless one of them allows communion.

                          Ok Lou, I do like your courtroom analogy. Many commentaries use similar ones, but if you get to use the courtroom, I get to use the ship from New York to South Hampton.

                          More on the courtroom analogy. I see that elements of the courtroom analogy illustrate atonement. First time I heard it, I was amazed. Overtime, the analogy seems wrong to me for the final judgment. It is not that I interpret, as do the Seventh Day Adventist, where the judgment is prior to the second coming, but I have difficulty in seeing the Throne Room as a courtroom. If you have ever been there in the spirit (the Throne Room), it is nothing like a courtroom! It doesn't seem to fit. I've never taken the time to concentrate about this but I wish you would.

                          Points about which I have misgivings.
                          1. Is there a prosecutor? Was not that satan doings?
                          2. Atonement was at the Cross and not at the judgment. The names are already recorded in the Book of Life. As a believer I am a new creature who has already experienced the first resurrection - therefore, waiting on the reward for good works.
                          3. Perhaps divine judgment is our first glimpse of the Almighty LORD where the whole process is over in a moment. It might be that the lightening seen from the east to the west is the duration of the final judgment.
                          4. The Throne Room is Holy God. The temple has the annual cleansing on the Day of Atonement. There never are any sinners in the Throne Room - just the atonement in the blood is in the Holy of Holies.
                          5. Maybe the final judgment is not in the Throne Room of the LORD? Is the white throne judgment is elsewhere?
                          Wait a minute, you get to go on a Cruise Ship and I have to go to court, well I guess you do not believe in fairness for sure.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "Wait a minute, you get to go on a Cruise Ship and I have to go to court, well I guess you do not believe in fairness for sure."

                            Esau I hated and Jacob I loved. What can I say, or is the courtroom in South Hampton and you are there.
                            Last edited by glen smith; March 31, 2017, 12:12 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Baruch View Post

                              Man is incapable of keeping his covenants. It requires perfection, and a power of persistence we do not possess. We are so inept, yet we claim to be able to choose Christ.
                              I suspect that a rational choice to follow Christ has a negligible long term effectiveness. For most believers the "free will choice" to accept Christ includes little rational understanding regardless of what has been explained. When the sinner accepts the Lord Jesus, the knowledge of the gospel is not what the convert is thinking about (In difference to Pink's sermon on Luke 24:25). Whatever efforts of the evangelist (apologetics, historicity of the Bible, or defeating objections) has been to bring the sinner to the point of being receptive to the wooing of the Holy Ghost, it is as Pink states it: It is the gospel message the convert embraces; but he embraces the gospel emotionally through the spiritual while not fully understanding the journey or meaning of accepting Jesus. How can we then claim that we have chose Christ in any sense of the meaning that we made a rational free will choice. There is not a check list to be sure we did all the right things, but Holy Ghost guidence by which we make progress toward sanctification and then understanding. Conversion from the old creature to the new creation is a "happening," both irresistible and unconditional. The Book of Acts describes such a moment in Chapter 9. At this conversion "happening" . . . well, something happened.

                              At the moment it fixes everything - wholeness of a fresh new creature is alive. The only real decision the convert has after this is how long will it be before he returns to the place of wholeness? This is his free will choice.

                              I am sure Calvinist have used Acts 9 as one of their "proofs" but I am yet to read or hear of that.
                              Last edited by glen smith; March 29, 2017, 10:15 PM. Reason: added: There is not a check list to be sure we did all the right things, but Holy Ghost guidence by which we make progress toward sanctification and then understanding.

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